Skip to main content

Full text of "Louisbourg, from its foundation to its fall, 1713-1758"

See other formats











LONDON    •     BUMBAY     •    CU.CL'TTA     •    MADRAS 


NEW    YORK    •    BOSTON   •  CHICAGO 




TO    ITS    FALL 







OF   MY    SON 


BORN    IN    CAPE    BRETON,   JANUARY    27,    1 886 
IN     AUGUST     1914     IN     THE     CANADIAN     FIELD     ARTILLERY, 
AND   WAS    KILLED    IN    ACTION    NEAR    YPRES,  APRIL    27,   1915 



LOUISBOURG,  as  the  seat  of  French  power  on  the  coast  of  the  North  Atlantic, 
occupied,  during  the  few  years  of  its  existence,  a  unique  position. 

Contrasts  between  the  progress  of  Canada  and  that  of  adjacent  British 
colonies  frequently  have  been  made.  It  has  been  overlooked  that  the  people  of 
Louisbourg  successfully  met  the  competition  of  their  neighbours  in  the  greatest 
industry  in  which  both  were  engaged.  Its  development  illustrates  the  action  of 
economic  forces  many  years  before  the  statement  of  their  laws  by  Adam  Smith 
met  with  general  acceptance.  The  captures  of  the  town,  both  in  1745  and  1758, 
connect  its  history  with  the  general  course  of  events,  which,  slowly  preparing  in 
the  preceding  years,  culminated  in  the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth  century 
with  such  faY-reaching  consequences  to  France  and  the  British  Empire. 

This  work  is  intended  to  present  in  detail  the  economic  and  administrative 
history  of  the  colony,  as  well  as  to  bring  that  history  into  harmony  with  the 
wider  outlook  on  the  events  of  the  time  which  has  been  taken  by  other  writers, 
notably  M.  Richard  Waddington,1  Mr.  Julian  Corbett,2  and  M.  La  Cour-Gayet.3 

A  study  of  original  documents  and  contemporary  writings  having  verified 
the  soundness  of  their  views,  I  have,  in  many  cases,  referred  to  their  works  rather 
than  to  sources  less  easily  accessible.  While  I  have  tried  to  make  complete  my 
acknowledgments  as  well  as  the  verification  of  their  citations,  I  am  aware  that 
the  former  may  not  be  complete,  and  that  my  text  may  even  contain,  without 
acknowledgment,  phrases  from  works  I  have  so  constantly  consulted. 

There  are  gaps  in  the  narrative  here  presented.  They  are,  by  intention, 
only  the  leaving  out  of  events  or  incidents,  often  picturesque,  which  are  dealt 

1  Le  Ren-versement  des  alliances,  and  La  Guerre  de  Sept  Ans.  2  England  in  the  Seven  Tears'  War. 

3  La  Marine  militaire  de  la  France  sous  Louis  XV. 



with  fully  in  the  works  of  Parkman,  Wood,  and  others,  which  it  is  fair  to  assume 
arc  familiar  to  all  who  will  read  this  hook. 

Some  of  the  views  presented  differ  from  those  usually  taken  of  this  period 
and  the  events  herein  dealt  with.  The  relative  success  of  the  French  fisheries,  as 
compared  with  those  of  New  England  ;  the  lack  of  efficiency  and  armament  in 
British  outposts,  and  the  slackness  of  some  of  their  officers  ;  the  origins  of  the 
expedition  of  1745,  and  the  importance  of  Pepperrell  in  securing  its  adoption  by 
the  legislature  of  Massachusetts,  are  instances  in  which  the  views  presented  differ 
from  those  I  held  in  beginning  the  study  of  the  original  documents. 

Again,  it  may  be  pointed  out  to  those  who  may  feel  that  it  was  unnecessary 
to  include  in  the  narrative  the  statement  that  Wolfe's  forecasts  at  Halifax  were 
inaccurate,  that  his  despondent  views  only  set  forth  more  brightly  the  indomitable 
spirit  of  the  man.  It  has  also  seemed  desirable  to  deal  at  some  length,  as  the 
writer  is  familiar  with  local  topography,  with  the  site  and  sequence  of  events  on 
the  8th  of  June,  when  the  force  under  Wolfe's  command  gained  a  landing. 
There  was  nothing  in  the  conduct  of  the  war  up  to  that  time  to  lead  us  to 
believe  that,  had  the  attack  been  repulsed,  the  expedition  might  not  have  failed. 

The  concluding  chapter  contains  an  analysis  of  the  causes  which  led  to  the 
weakness  of  the  French  Navy  at  a  time  when  efficiency  might  have  averted  the 
gravest  disasters  to  the  colonial  empire  of  France.  In  this  chapter,  to  avoid 
repetition,  is  contained  some  elucidations  of  the  naval  operations  at  Louisbourg 
which  demand  attention  as  a  basis  for  a  sound  understanding  of  these  events. 

It  may  be  added  that  as  the  documents  in  the  Archives  Nationales  which 
deal  with  the  affairs  of  the  colony  are  arranged  in  chronological  order  in  their 
respective  series,  it  has  not  been  thought  necessary  to  cite  all  references  to 
documents  so  easily  found  ;  nor  for  English  readers  to  give  the  original  text 
as  well  as  a  translation  for  passages  quoted  from  French  writers.  I  have  used 
contemporary  forms  of  spelling,  usually  that  of  the  document  on  which  the  text 
is  based ;  and  I  have,  whenever  possible,  quoted  the  words  of  an  eyewitness 
rather  than  given  my  own  version.  While  this  course  has  some  obvious  dis- 
advantages it  is  hoped  that  it  has  added  materially  to  the  accuracy  of  the  views 

I  most  gratefully  acknowledge  much  help  cordially  given  by  many  people. 


Earl  Grey  made  it  easy  for  me  to  obtain  access  to  collections.  Dr.  A.  G. 
Doughty  of  the  Dominion  Archives,  and  Monsieur  Charles  de  la  Ronciere  of 
the  Bibliotheque  Nationale  in  Paris,  both  historians,  the  latter  the  author  of  a 
monumental  history  of  the  French  Navy,  not  yet  completed,  have  aided  me  with 
advice.  Mr.  H.  P.  Biggar  of  the  Canadian  Archives  has  placed  freely  at  my 
disposal  his  knowledge  of  the  libraries  and  archives  of  Europe.  Viscount 
Falmouth  has  sent  me  copies  of  Admiral  Boscawen's  unpublished  letters  of  1755. 
Admiral  the  Hon.  Horace  Hood,  R.N.,  has  had  prepared  for  me  a  chart  showing 
the  position  of  Boscawen's  larger  ships  in  June  1758.  Colonel  Stopford  Sackville 
has  had  copied  for  me  Cunningham's  letter  now  in  the  Archives  of  Drayton 
House.  Mr.  H.  P.  Duchemin  of  Sydney  has  aided  me  in  the  final  revision. 
Miss  Alice  J.  Mayes  of  London  has  been  an  accurate  and  intelligent  searcher  for 
me  in  the  Record  Office  and  other  depositaries  in  London.  Mr.  Herbert 
Putnam  of  the  Congressional  Library  has  given  me  the  copy  of  a  rare  map  ; 
md  from  the  officials  of  many  libraries  and  archives  in  Canada,  the  United 
States,  England,  and  France  I  have  received  much  courteous  assistance  in  my 




P.S. — This  book  was  printed  in  the  spring  of  1914,  for  publication  in  the 
following  September.  The  outbreak  of  war  led  to  its  being  held  over.  The  con- 
tinuance of  the  war  makes  it  improbable  that,  within  the  near  future,  there  will  be 
more  fitting  time  than  the  present  for  its  appearance  ;  for  the  events  dealt  with 
in  it  influence  those  which  are  now  occurring,  and  the  views  as  to  the  importance 
of  naval  power  stated  in  it  are  being  confirmed  on  every  sea. 

In  the  interval  since  it  was  printed  changes  have  occurred.     The  Earl  Grey 
and  Admiral  the  Honble.  Horace  Hood  have  ended  splendid  careers  of  public 
irvice,  and  Sir  Julian  Corbett  has  had  his  contributions  to  naval  history  recognised. 

J.  S.  MCL. 

June  1918. 



14.  V  Attack  and  Defence  in  Three  Stages. 


1.  Veue  de  la  Ville,  1731.     Bibliotheque  Nationale,  Paris,  G  18830  .  .  Frontispiece 

2.  Carte  de  1'Isle  Royale               .              .              .              w  -  .  .  .9 

3.  Plan  du  Havre.     By  L'Hermitte,  1716  (Marine,  Paris)            .  .  .  -33 

4.  Projects  of  Fortification,  Verville,  1717            .              .              .  .  .  51 

5.  Captain  Young's  Map,  1716.              .              .              .              .  .  .  .52 

6.  Louisbourg,  1734        .             .             .             .             .             .  .  .  .86 

7.  Environs,  1738  (Marine,  Paris)  .......         89 

8.  Satirical  Print,  1755   .           '.  .'            .              .              .  .  .  £-     197 

9.  Boscawen's  Ships,  June  5,  1758           .             .             .             .  .  .  .       242 

10.  Coast  near  Landing  Place       ...                      .             .  .  .  .       246 

11.  Coromandiere  Cove,  1912                      .                            .              .  .  .  .        247 

12.  First  Landing               .              .              .              .              .              .  .  .  .252 


1 6.  The  Prudent  and  Bienfaisant  in  Louisbourg  Harbour,  1758      .  .  .  .283 

17.  Demolition  of  Fortifications  (British  Museum)  .  .  .  .  .291 

1 8.  View  of  Louisbourg  in  1766  (British  Museum)  .....       293 

19.  Louisbourg  Medals     ...._.....       437 



1  A  and  I  B.  Plan  of  Siege  of  1745. 

2  A  and  B,  3  A  and  B.   Plans  of  Siege  of  1758. 

From  Section  Hydrographique,  Marine,  Paris. 


Statement  of  the  movements  of  His  Majesty's  ships  employed  in  the  siege  of  Louisburg, 
1745,  with  remarks  upon  weather,  etc. 



THE  foundation  of  Louisbourg  was  the  result  of  a  crisis  in  French  colonial 
development.  Before  the  readjustment  of  territory  arranged  by  the  Treaty 
of  Utrecht,  April  I7I3,1  France  possessed  the  fairest  colonial  empire  the 
world  had  seen.  India  knew  her  fleets  and  her  factories.  She  held,  on  the 
seaboard  of  America,  from  the  Arctic  to  what  is  now  the  State  of  Maine. 
Her  influence  was  paramount  from  the  St.  Lawrence  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi,  in  the  vast  backlands  of  the  continent,  to  the  westward  of  the 
Alleghanies.  The  West  Indian  islands  belonging  to  her  were  the  most 
prosperous  of  European  settlements  in  those  seas.  At  Placentia  in  Newfound- 
land she  had  an  establishment,  founded  about  1660,  which  served  as  a  base 
for  her  fisheries,  and  although  weak  as  a  place  of  arms,  it  was  yet  strong 
enough  to  resist  English  attacks  and  to  send  out  expeditions  which  captured 
St.  John's,  the  principal  seat  of  the  rival  power. 

Wars  between  England  and  France  had  gone  on  with  brief  intermissions 
from  1689  to  1713.  The  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession,  in  which  Europe 
formed  a  coalition  to  resist  the  pretensions  of  the  Great  Louis,  had  left  France 
exhausted.  Many  treaties,  signed  at  Utrecht,  settled  the  terms  of  the  peace, 
but  certain  clauses  in  the  one  between  France  and  England  alone  concern 
this  narrative.  It  was  agreed  that  the  French  should  evacuate  Placentia, 
retaining  certain  fishing  rights  on  the  coasts  of  Newfoundland  ;  that  Acadia, 
unhappily  with  indeterminate  limits,  should  be  yielded  to  England,  but  that 
France  should  hold  with  full  sovereignty  the  islands  lying  in  the  Gulf  of 
the  St.  Lawrence  and  its  outlets.  The  most  important  of  these  was  Cape 

The  first  position  taken  by  the  English  negotiators  was  that  France  should  not 
be  allowed  to  fortify  the  island.  This  was,  however,  yielded.  Although  England,  by 
previous  ownership,  or  this  Treaty,  thereafter  held  the  littoral  of  North  America  from 
Hudson's  Bay  to  the  Spanish  territory  of  Florida,  the  belief  survived  in  New  England 

1  Cf.  Let  Grands  Trait/s  de  Louis  XIV,  Vast,  Paris,  Picard,  1893. 


for   a    generation    that    these    terms    were    the    result    of    the    purchase    of    the    English 
plenipotentiaries  by  French  gold.1 

Acadia  was  the  earliest  of  European  settlements  on  the  northern  coast 
of  America.  Its  history  had  been  an  extraordinary  one,  made  up  of  neglect 
at  home,  internal  strife  by  rival  proprietaries  in  its  forests,  and  frequent 
harryings  of  its  struggling  settlements  by  English  colonists.  These  began 
with  the  foray  of  the  Virginian  Argal  in  1613,  and  only  ceased  in  1710,  when 
it  was  captured  by  New  England  forces,  supported  by  an  English  fleet.  So 
pitiful  is  its  story  that  it  is  a  cause  for  wonder  that  its  chief  place,  Port  Royal, 
survived,  and  that  there,  and  at  other  settlements,  lived  about  2400  Acadians 
on  lands  so  fertile  that  they  excited  the  cupidity  of  the  invaders. 

The  pastoral  prosperity  of  these  people  made  them  self-supporting.  They 
contributed  little  to  the  trade  of  France  ;  therefore  the  relinquishment  of 
Acadia,  which  so  inadequately  fulfilled  the  purpose  for  which  colonies  were 
established,  the  enrichment  of  the  mother-country,  would  not  justify  describing 
the  consequence  in  America  of  the  Treaty  of  Utrecht  as  making  a  crisis  in 
French  colonial  affairs.  That  expression  is  made  accurate  by  two  conditions 
which  were  of  vital  importance  :  for  one  affected  her  retention  of  Canada, 
the  most  extensive  of  her  dependencies  ;  the  other,  the  prosecution  of  a  trade, 
not  only  important  from  its  own  profits,  but  indirectly  from  the  commerce 
of  which  it  was  the  source,  and  the  military  ~  advantages  of  its  permanent 

Newfoundland  and  Nova  Scotia  being  in  the  hands  of  England,  Cape 
Breton  was  a  sentinel  in  the  gateway  of  the  St.  Lawrence,3  through  which 
passed  the  traffic  of  Canada — through  which,  in  event  of  new  hostilities,  attack 
on  that  colony  would  be  made.  The  value  of  Cape  Breton,  as  a  naval  base 
to  protect  Canada  and  French  commerce  in  the  Western  Ocean,  is  so  obvious 
that  it  need  not  be  more  than  mentioned. 

The  trade  of  such  importance  was  that  of  the  North  Atlantic  fisheries. 
It  had  been  vigorously  followed,  at  all  events,  from  the  beginning  of  the 
sixteenth  century  ;  Portuguese,  Basques  from  the  Spanish  side  of  the  Bidassoa, 
those  of  their  French  ports,  Bayonne  and  St.  Jean  de  Luz,  the  fishermen 
of  Bordeaux,  of  Normandy,  as  well  as  West  Country  English,  visited  the 
teeming  waters  of  the  western  coasts  of  the  North  Atlantic.  New  England, 
too,  about  the  mid-seventeenth  century,  turned,  with  far-reaching  effects  on 
her  people,  from  the  demoralizing  fur  trade. 

1   Douglass  Summary,  Lornlon,  1760,  vol.  i.  p.  3. 

8  The  Distinction  between  nival  ami  military  forces  was  of  later  date  than  this  time.  Macaulay,  with  his  usual 
brilliancy  and  wealth  of  illustration,  states  the  relation  of  the  sea  and  land  forces  which  continued  in  France  until 
later  than  the  fall  of  Louisbourg  (Macaulay's  Hist.  En%.  vol.  i.  chap.  iii.). 

1  The  Strait  of  Belle  Isle  was  not  used  at  this  time. 


"  The  two  pursuits  had  very  little  in  common.  One  partook  of  the  departing  barbarism, 
the  other  was  a  sure  harbinger  of  the  incoming  civilisation.  The  one,  lusty  in  its 
occasional  prosperity,  lean  in  its  certain  periods  of  scarcity,  bred  the  lazy  lounger  of  the 
trading-post,  half-savage,  half-pinchbeck  citizen.  The  other,  an  uncertain  chance  combined 
with  industry,  made  the  hardy  fisherman  and  bold  sailor  of  the  New  England  coast." 1 

The  thrift  of  her  people  saved  from  the  harvest  of  the  sea  the  beginnings 
of  that  wealth  which  the  enterprise  of  their  descendants  has  made  so  potent 
in  developing  the  resources  of  this  continent.  In  early  times,  after  providing 
for  sustenance,  they  exploited  the  land  as  subsidiary  to  the  fisheries,  and  the 
traffic  over  seas  of  which  they  were  the  origin.  First  fishing,  then  coasting, 
then  deep-sea  voyages,  the  building  of  vessels  for  these  trades,  the  providing 
cargo  for  them  from  their  other  industries,  mark  the  course  of  New  England's 
early  economic  development.  It  is  fitting  that  a  golden  codfish  hangs  in  the 
legislative  chamber  of  Massachusetts,  to  remind  the  representatives  of  her 
people  of  the  origin  of  their  prosperity. 

The  importance  of  the  fisheries  was  of  more  than  colonial  significance. 
The  direct  returns  of  the  enterprise  were  large,  and  at  the  beginning  of  the 
eighteenth  century  were  mostly  the  fruits  of  voyages  made  from  Europe. 
"While  many  finny  fellows  have  finer  tissues  and  more  exquisite  flavours, 
few  survive  time,  endure  salt,  and  serve  daily  use  as  well  as  the  Cod."  These 
qualities  opened  for  it  large  markets  among  the  Catholic  countries  of  Europe, 
as  well  as  the  Mahometan  people  of  the  Levant.  Trade  in  other  commodities 
followed  that  in  fish,  with  proportional  benefits  to  the  nation,  so  that  all 
interested  in  its  prosperity  set  a  high  value  on  an  industry  the  indirect 
advantages  of  which  were  so  widespread  and  conspicuous.2 

The  industry  was  fostered,  also,  by  statesmen  as  a  "  nursery  of  seamen." 
France,  but  a  few  years  before,  owned  a  navy  which,  under  Tourville,  had 
withstood  the  combined  fleets  of  England  and  Holland.3  Her  naval  decline 
was  still  incipient,  so  the  reserve  of  seamen  employed  in  her  fisheries  was  a 
prime  factor  in  its  encouragement.4  "As  these  cost  the  King  nothing  in 
time  of  peace,  and  are  immediately  available  for  his  ships  in  time  of  war,  and 
are  no  less  skilled  in  handling  a  vessel  on  dangerous  coasts  than  intrepid  in 
combat,"  the  commercial  value  of  this  industry  was  enhanced  by  its  military 

1  Weeden's  Economic  and  Social  History  of  New  England,  vol.  i.  p.  129. 

8  As  the  fisheries  of  the  French  increased,  English  writers  expressed  alarm  over  this  aspect  of  the  situation.  Weeden 
has  a  score  of  allusions  to  the  importance  of  this  trade. 

3  "  Of  Maritime  powers  France  was  not  the  first.  But  though  she  had  rivals  on  the  sea,  she  had  not  yet  a  superior. 
Such  was  her  strength  during  the  last  forty  years  of  the  seventeenth  century,  that  no  enemy  could  singly  withstand  her, 
and  that  two  great  coalitions,  in  which  half  Christendom  was  united  against  her,  failed  of  success  "  (Macaulay,  vol.  i. 
chap.  ii.).  *  Shirley  about  1745  estimated  the  number  as  27,000. 


The  experience  of  a  century  had  shown  that  an  establishment  near  the 
fishing  grounds  was  essential.  Boat  as  well  as  bank  fishing  was  important. 
Vessels  required  a  port  in  which  they  could  refit  in  security.  The  taste  of 
certain  markets  demanded  a  fish  which  had  to  be  dried  on  shore.  The  necessity 
of  selecting  a  site  for  this  establishment,  and  removing  to  it  the  people  of 
Placentia,  required  by  the  Treaty  to  be  evacuated,  so  that  no  delay  should 
imperil  one  of  the  most  productive  industries  of  the  kingdom,  was  the  crisis 
with  which  Pontchartrain,  Minister  of  Marine,  was  confronted. 

Before  going  on  to  recount  in  outline  the  progress  of  the  colony  which  was 
carried  on  under  his  administration  and  that  of  his  successors,  for  colonial  affairs 
were  in  charge  of  this  Ministry,  it  is  fair  to  caution  the  reader  that  a  narrative 
dealing  only  with  the  affairs  of  one  colony  is  quite  untrustworthy  as  a  ground 
for  condemning  men  or  systems.  The  basis  for  such  a  comparison  is  only  sound 
when  it  embraces  knowledge  of  what  was  happening  in  other  establishments 
where  conditions  were  not  essentially  different. 

The  perusal  of  the  scores  of  volumes  of  documents  dealing  with  the  affairs 
of  Louisbourg  leaves  an  impression  that  the  administrators  of  that  colony  must 
have  been  corrupt  and  inefficient  beyond  all  men  then  in  similar  positions  ;  that 
the  Minister  was  indifferent  to  its  fortunes;  that  its  soldiers  were  ill-fed  and 
clothed,  its  fortifications  ineffective,  its  people  drunken,  its  growth  trifling,  the 
establishment  more  likely  to  perish  from  its  own  corruption  than  to  require 
formidable  armaments  for  its  capture. 

Corruption  was  also  charged  against  officials  in  the  English  colonies. 
Ill-clothed  soldiers  in  Nova  Scotian  winters  kept  watch  wrapped  in  their 
blankets.  On  the  eve  of  a  war  foreseen  for  years,  one  writes  of  an  English 
outpost,  "  Canso  lyes  naked  and  defenceless  "  ;  another,  of  Annapolis,  the  chief 
seat  of  English  power  in  the  province,  as  so  weak,  that  even  the  cow  of  the 
neutral  Acadian  found  its  moat  and  ramparts  practicable  for  assault.  The 
consumption  of  spirits  during  the  colonial  occupation  of  Louisbourg  shows  that 
drunkenness  was  a  vice  the  ravages  of  which  were  not  confined  to  the  French  ; 
while  the  failure  of  the  English  colony  of  Georgia,  founded  not  long  after 
Louisbourg,  proves  that  disappointing  results  followed  enterprises  under  other 
flags  than  the  white  standard  of  the  Bourbons.  This  introduction  is  not  the 
place  tor  these  illuminating  comparisons.  It  must,  however,  touch  on  some 
general  considerations  which  will  make  more  intelligible  the  narrative  of  the 
events  which  took  place  in  Louisbourg. 

France  applied  to  her  colonies  the  same  paternal  system  of  administration 
as  at  home.     Colbert  thus  stated  in  one  of  his  letters  the  principles  on  which 
sound  colonial  administration  was  founded  : 


"  Apply  your  industry  and  knowledge  of  affairs  to  these  three  points,  the  complete 
expulsion  of  foreigners,  liberty  to  all  French,  and  cultivate  with  care,  justice,  and  good 
order."  * 

Such  was  the  standard  Colbert  set.  Unmodified  as  an  ideal,  it  guided  the 
policy  of  successive  ministers.2 

But,  while  they  wished  the  colonies  to  develop  along  these  lines,  other 
considerations  modified  this  desire.  No  foreigner  should  live  in  them,  nor  were 
French  heretics  welcome.  One  of  the  advantages  of  the  colony  was  that  to  it 
might  be  sent  those  whose  presence  in  France  was  a  disgrace  to  their  families  or 
a  danger  to  the  community.3  It  was  in  the  sands  of  Louisiana  that  the  frail 
grace  of  Manon  ceased  from  troubling  her  generation.  In  its  commercial 
development  passion  for  working  to  a  plan,  often  conceived  with  foresight  and 
elaborated  with  intelligence,  imposed  on  its  people  regulations  which  checked 
their  enterprise.  Its  authorities  were  ordered  to  undertake  elaborate  schemes 
for  development,  beyond  their  ability  and  their  resources  to  carry  out. 

Trades  and  occupations  were  regulated  ;  the  wages  paid,  and  the  prices 
of  commodities  produced,  were  determined  by  enactments,  which,  in  one  form 
or  another,  had  the  force  of  Royal  authority.  France  with  this  system  had 
reached,  in  the  years  immediately  preceding  this  period,  a  commanding 
position,  not  only  in  military  affairs,  but  in  arts,  manufactures,  and  ship- 
building.4 Her  industries  still  retain  the  direction,  and  in  instances  the 
eminence,  they  attained  in  the  earlier  years  of  Louis's  reign  before  Louvois 
became  more  powerful  in  his  councils  than  Colbert.  A  system  which  produced 
such  results,  one  akin  to  that  under  which  modern  nations  are  making  great 
progress,  had  unquestioned  merits.  These  are,  however,  most  conspicuous  in  a 
country  of  settled  conditions,  of  regular  economic  development.  Among  the 
ever-changing  circumstances  of  a  new  settlement,  regulations  made  by  the  best 
intentioned  of  bureaucrats  were  hampering  to  the  settlers.  The  system  accounts, 
in  part  at  least,  for  the  centrifugal  tendency  of  the  people  of  the  French 
colonies.  The  energetic  and  the  enterprising  went  to  the  confines  of  colonial 
civilization  to  escape  rules  which  fettered  their  activities.  This  tendency  is  most 
marked  among  the  coureurs  du  bois  of  Canada.  It  is  also  seen  in  Isle  Royale,  for 
Ingonish  soon  became,  after  Louisbourg,  the  principal  place  in  the  colony. 
This  was  attributed  by  the  authorities  to  the  absence  there  of  any  settled 
administration.*"  Distance,  the  lack  of  supervision,  the  personal  interest  of 

1  Colbert,  Deschamps,  p.  161. 

2  Cf.  Mims,  Colbert's  ffest  Indian  Policy,  Yale  Historical  Press,  1912. 
8  Instances  were  not  uncommon  in  Louisbourg. 

4  Even  when,  at  a  later  time,  England  was  destroying  her  naval  power,  supremacy  in  shipbuilding  had  not  passed  from 
France.  It  was  acknowledged  in  the  saying  current  in  the  rival  service,  "The  French  to  build  ships,  the  English  to 
fight  "em." 


officials,  however,  made  it  easy  to  ignore  instructions  from  the  home  authorities, 
of  which  the  rigid  observance  was  unpopular,  inconvenient,  or  unprofitable.1 

These  regulations  have  sometimes  been  described  as  if  the  intention  of  the 
authorities  was  to  gratuitously  vex  and  annoy  the  colonist.  There  is  abundant 
evidence  that  the  intention  was  to  help  him.  The  dependence  of  English 
ministers  on  parliamentary  majorities,  of  which  the  members  of  trading 
constituencies  were  a  part,  made  a  care  of  the  commercial  interests  of  the 
country  indispensable.  Their  French  contemporaries  were  also  zealous  in  doing 
all  they  could  to  promote  trade.  Suggestions  were  made  of  means  by  which 
the  volume  of  business  could  be  increased  or  more  effectively  carried  on.  The 
early  history  of  Cape  Breton  furnishes  these  examples.  In  1687  coal  was 
taken  from  the  island  to  France  and  tried  in  the  royal  forges  ;  a  little  earlier 
(1681)  trade  with  the  West  Indian  colonies  was  considered  ;  while  a  scheme  for 
establishing  an  entrepot  at  which  seagoing  ships  would  exchange  cargoes  with 
lighter  vessels,  the  former,  thus  relieved  from  the  tedious  voyage  to  Quebec,  to 
have  time  for  two  voyages  a  year  instead  of  one,  was  favourably  looked  on  by 
Colbert.2  Coal  from  Cape  Breton  was  made  free  of  duty,  as  at  a  later  date 
were  its  other  principal  products. 

The  Council  of  Commerce  founded  by  Colbert  in  1664,  the  scope  of  which 
was  greatly  extended  in  i  700,  did  much  to  promote  French  trade  and  to  relieve 
it  from  regulations  which  fettered  it.  Many  volumes  of  its  deliberations  are 
extant.3  In  these  it  is  rare  to  find  a  case  in  which  the  decision  is  not  in  favour 
of  the  trader.  An  English  writer  in  1745  ascribes  to  its  fostering  "the  Steps 
by  which  the  French  Commerce  and  Colonies,  from  being  inferior  to  ours,  have 
risen  to  a  dangerous  Superiority  over  us,  in  less  than  half  a  Century."  4 

The  decisions  of  this  body  and  the  enactments  of  all  contemporary 
authorities  were  dominated  by  a  theory  which  has  had  some  influence  to  within 
memory  of  the  living,  namely,  the  conception  that  colonies  were  entirely  for  j 
the  benefit  of  the  mother-country.  It  was  stated  as  follows  by  the  writer 
of  a  memorial  on  the  settlement  of  Cape  Breton  :  "  Colonies  are  necessary 
only  as  they  are  useful  to  the  states  from  which  they  take  their  origin  ;  they 
are  useful  only  in  as  much  as  they  procure  for  these  states  new  advantages  and 
solid  means  of  extending  their  commerce."  When  the  interests  of  the 
French  merchant  clashed  with  those  of  the  colonist,  the  latter  had  to  give  way.5 
There  does  not  seem  to  be  any  evidence  that  the  French  had,  as  had  in  a  misty 

"A  de»  distance!  auui  grandes,  quellc  peut  etre  1'cnergie  des  I"ix  de  la  metropole  sur  les  sujets,  1'obeTssance  de« 
sujeti  a  c«  loi«  »"  (Raynal,  Iitei  Franf.nti,  p.  3).  The  «amc  msregard  was  shown  in  the  English  colonies.  Cf.  Channing, 
Hiittrj  tftke  U.S.  vol.  ii.  chap.  viii. 

2  Ar.  Col.  B,  vol.  i,  p.  i;-.     Other  reference*  are  B.  vol.  13,  pp.  59  and  6-,  and  MSS.  Ouc.  vol.  i,  pp.  243,  2-6. 

1  Ar.  Nit.  F.  12. 

4  Statt  ef  tke  Bnink  ax.i  Frtnch  TraJe  CzmptreJ,  London,  1745,  quoted  in  "Two  Letters  on  Cape  Breton," 
London,  1746.  s  Instances  of  this  occur  in  the  history  of  Loui«bourg.  Cf.  p.  49. 


instinctive  way  the  English,  the  foreshadowing  of  the  Imperial  idea  of  mother- 
country  and  colony,  sharing  burdens  and  mutually  adapting  production  to  a 
common  profit.  We  do  not  find  in  their  administration  anything  to  correspond 
to  the  permitted  competition  on  equal  terms  of  the  cheaply  built  colonial  ship 
with  English  vessels,1  nor  the  prohibition  of  growing  tobacco  at  home,  for  the 
advantage  of  the  southern  colonies. 

There  followed  from  this  theory  the  prohibition  of  trade  with  foreigners. 
In  this  regard  the  system  broke  down.  Communities  in  which  trade  was  of 
paramount  importance  evaded  and  defied  those  enactments,  which  interfered 
with  profits.  A  course  of  illicit  trade  which  could  scarcely  be  called  smuggling, 
so  open  and  well  known  it  was,  contributed  to  the  prosperity  of  every  European 
establishment  over  seas.  Louisbourg  did  much  trade  with  New  England.  The 
condition  in  these  British  colonies  is  thus  described  : 

"  The  existing  records  of  original  transactions  are  few  and  scattered,  yet  enough  remains 
to  show  clearly  that  the  commercial  business  of  New  England  went  forward  under  different 
forms  in  the  several  governments,  but  always  towards  one  end.  That  end  was  money  and 
profit,  parliamentary  law  and  Crown  administration  to  the  contrary  notwithstanding.  The 
interesting  letter  cited  from  Gilbert  Deblois,  a  Boston  official,  to  Samuel  Curwin,  a 
prominent  merchant  of  Salem,  reveals  the  practice  of  Boston  and  Salem  in  handling 
imported  merchandise  which  had  escaped  the  King's  duties  : 

"Bos.  Aug.  6, 1759. 
"  Sam.  Curwin,  Esq., 

"  Sir :  I  shall  Esteem  it  a  fav.  you'l  take  an  Oppy  to  Inform  all  your 
Merchts.  &  Others,  Concerned  in  Shipping  up  Wine,  Oyl,  Olives,  Figs,  Raisins,  &c., 
that  I  am  Determined  Publickly  to  Inform  the  Collector  of  this  Port,  of  any  those  Articles 
I  can  find  out,  are  on  board  any  Vessell  Commanded  by  or  under  the  Care  of  Captain 
Ober,  in  order  they  may  be  Seized.  I  shall  not  Concern  myself  abl  any  other  Coaster,  let 
'em  bring  up  what  they  will,  but  this  Capt.  Ober  has  Cheated  me  in  such  a  manner  (tho 
to  no  great  Value),  that  I'm  determined  to  keep  a  good  look  out  on  him,  therefore  would 
have  all  those  Concern'd  in  that  Trade,  Regulate  themselves  accordingly,  &  if  they  will 
Risque  any  such  Prohibetted  Goods  in  sd  Ober5  Vessell,  they  must  not  (after  such  notice 
of  my  Design)  think  hard  of  me,  as  what  I  may  do  will  be  to  punish  sd  Ober  and  not  them 
— I  have  just  told  sd  Ober  that  I  would  send  this  notification  to  Salem  and  wd  Certainly  get 
his  Vessell  &  Cargo  Seized  sooner  or  Later. 


Your  hble  Serv* 

Gilbr.  Deblois. 

"  P.S.  I'm  a  lover  of  Honest  Men,  therefore  dont  be  Surprised  at  the  above,  as  I  look 
upon  Ober  to  be  a  great  Cheat. 

"  Pray  destroy  this  when  done  with." 

"Answered  Aug1  I3th." 

1  In  1724  sixteen  shipbuilders  of  the  Thames  complained  to  the  King  that  their  trade  was  injured  and  their 
workmen  emigrating  on  account  of  the  New  England  competition  (Weeden,  vol.  ii.  p.  573).  (For  a  brief,  lucid  statement 
of  the  English  position,  the  reader  is  referred  to  Cambridge  Modern  History,  vol.  vi.  ch.  ii.) 


"  The  honest  candour  of  the  energetic  Deblois  in  visiting  vengeance  on  Captain  Ober 
—who  had  offended  the  official — is  as  astonishing  as  it  is  naive.  Here  a  public  officer 
deliberately  warns  a  community  of  respectable  law-breakers  that  they  will  suffer  the 
penalty  due  any  and  all  transgression,  if  they  presume  to  ship  their  goods  by  a  particular 
and  prescribed  captain.  c  They  must  not  (after  such  notice  of  my  Design)  think  hard  of 
me,  as  what  I  may  do  will  be  to  punish  sd  Obcr  and  not  them.'  Debauched  public 
sentiment  and  corrupt  official  practice  was  never  more  plainly  manifest  in  an  individual 
action.  If  we  had  Obcr's  counter  idea  of  honesty  and  cheating,  then  eighteenth-century 
public  morality  would  stand  out  in  full  relief."  l 

These  practical  and  effective  modifications  of  a  parental  system  of 
administration,  and  the  exploitation  of  colonies  for  the  benefit  of  the  merchant 
of  the  home  ports,  fitted  in  with  the  practice  of  others  than  the  trading  classes. 
Offices  were  bought,  and  the  fees  attached  to  them  made  their  salaries  com- 
paratively unimportant.  The  command  of  a  British  regiment  which  long 
served  in  Nova  Scotia  was  computed  to  be  worth  £4000  a  year.  Prize  money 
stimulated  the  commanders  of  King's  ships,  as  booty  the  privateersman,  nor  did 
the  commanders  in  the  French  navy  disdain  the  profits  of  trade  for  which  they 
carried  a  store  of  goods. 

Nevertheless  the  splendid  spirit  of  the  seventeenth  century  which  rings  out  in 
Lescarbot's  address  to  France  2  was  not  entirely  dead.  The  letter  of  instructions 
to  each  new  Governor  of  Isle  Royale  brings  to  his  notice  that  the  sole  purpose 
of  the  King  in  colonization  was  the  promotion  of  religion.  This  purpose  so 
far  held  good,  that,  notwithstanding  the  enormous  disadvantages  at  which  the 
prohibition  of  the  sale  of  drink  placed  the  French  trader  competing  for  the 
trade  of  the  natives,  that  prohibition  was  enforced.  It  also  finds  an  expression, 
for  example,  in  the  letter  of  the  Minister  Pontchartrain  to  the  officials  of  Isle 
Royale  in  which  he  says  :  "  Nothing  can  contribute  more  to  the  success  of  the 
establishment,  nor  draw  down  on  it  more  effectively  the  blessings  of  Heaven, 
than  good  order  and  the  repression  of  license."  3  Nevertheless,  it  was  in  the 
main  true  of  France,  as  of  her  rivals,  that  "  the  period  is  one  of  peace,  uneventful, 
almost  undisturbed  ;  its  chief  crisis  due  to  stock-jobbing  ;  its  chief  disputes  about 
currency  ;  its  chief  victories  those  of  commerce  ;  its  type,  if  not  its  hero,  the 
business  man."  * 

Such  was  the  general  spirit  of  the  times,  the  general  principles  on  which 
the  new  colony  was  to  be  governed. 

The  island  had  long  been  known.  It  was  possibly  a  land-fall  of  the  first 
explorers.  The  Basques,  who  were  among  its  earliest  fishermen,  claimed  that 

1    Wecclen,  p.  660.  2  Lcscarbot,  Ckanflain  Softer);  vol.  i.  p.  12.  s  June  4,  1-15,  B,  3-,  f.  226. 

4   Cambridge  Modern  History,  vol.  vi.  p.  40. 

To  fact  page  9. 


long  before  Columbus  their  ancestors  had  visited  its  ports.  It  seems  to  owe 
its  name  to  the  town  which  stands  at  the  place  where  the  Adour  once  flowed 
into  the  Bay  of  Biscay.1  Traders  visited  it  for  traffic  with  the  Indians,  and 
during  each  season  the  fishermen  carried  on  their  industry  on  the  adjacent  banks. 
Each  nationality  kept  to  its  own  ports  for  mutual  help  and  protection,  and  the 
names  of  the  principal  harbours  show  this  usage.  Until  1713  Louisbourg  was 
known  as  English  Harbour  (Havre  a  1'Anglois)  ;  as  late  as  the  last  generation 
deeds  described  lots  as  situated  on  the  shores  of  "  Sydney  or  Spanish  Bay  "  (Baie 
des  Espagnols),  and  a  favourite  patroness  of  the  French  gave  her  name,  St. 
Anne,  to  the  port  frequented  by  the  fishermen  of  that  nation.  Certain  it  is 
that  during  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries  it  was  constantly  visited  by 
European  fishermen.  In  1629  rival  and  ephemeral  settlements  were  made  on 
it  by  Lord  Ochiltree  for  England,  and  Captain  Daniel  for  France.  About 
twenty  years  later  Nicholas  Denys  of  Tours  had  settlements  at  two  places  on 
Cape  Breton,  St.  Peter's  and  St.  Anne's,  so  well  established  that  traces  of  them 
had  not  in  a  half-century  of  abandonment  been  obliterated  by  the  wilderness. 

Little  was  known  of  it ;  even  its  shape,  that  of  a  closed  hand,  with  the  index 
finger  pointing  to  the  north-east,  is  inaccurately  given  in  all  the  earlier  maps. 
Its  strategic  and  commercial  possibilities  drew  attention  to  it  long  before  its 
resources  were  known.  In  1613  it  was  proposed  as  the  seat  of  a  Viceroy 
controlling  French  interests  in  it  and  Newfoundland.2  Under  Colbert,  in 
addition  to  the  efforts  to  develop  its  trade  already  cited,  a  project  was  submitted 
which  looked  towards  using  the  coal  of  the  shores  of  Sydney  harbour,  the  refining 
there  of  West  India  sugars,  and  the  building  of  ships  with  the  oak  which  grew 
to  the  water's  edge. 

With  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century  interest  in  it  was  heightened. 
The  Ste.  Maries  officers  in  the  colonial  troops  asked  for  a  grant  of  the  island  in 
lyoo.3  Memorials  flowed  in  to  the  Minister.  He  asked  a  report  from  Raudot, 
Intendant  of  Canada,  on  its  settlement,  which  Raudot  sent  on  in  1706,*  and 
followed  by  other  papers  on  the  subject.  About  simultaneously  with  his  first 
report,  an  anonymous  memoir  was  sent  to  Pontchartrain.  Raudot  shows  in  his 
dealing  with  the  question  not  only  the  capacity  of  the  experienced  administrator, 
but  also  of  the  political  thinker.  His  estimate  of  the  required  outlay  of  the 
proposed  establishment  was  not  materially  exceeded  for  many  years  after  the 
foundation  of  the  colony.  Long  before  Adam  Smith  published  his  book,  he 
recognized  the  advantages  of  freer  trade.  He  thus  concluded  his  first  memoir  : 

1  Ducere,  Lei  Corsaires. 

2  Bn.  Nat.  MSS.,  Moreau,  781. 

3  Arch.  He  la  Fn.,  Carton  3,  No.  130. 

4  This  paper  contains  so  much  that  is  valuable  about  Cape  Breton,  as  it  was  then  thought  to  be  more  important 
than  later  acquired  knowledge  of  its  resources,  that  a  precis  is  given  later,  p.  23. 


"  If  it  is  desired  to  establish  this  Island  so  that  its  commerce  shall  flourish,  it  is  necessary 
to  open  to  it  intercourse  with  all  the  ports  of  France,  of  Spain,  of  the  Levant,  of  the  trench 
West  Indies  and  of  New  England."  l 

One  is  inclined  to  ascribe  the  difficulties  of  the  establishment  on  Cape 
Breton  to  the  incapacity  of  Pontchartrain,  as  his  defects  have  been  kept  alive  for 
readers  of  memoirs  in  the  scathing  pages  of  St.  Simon.  For  five  or  six  years 
no  project  concerned  with  the  American  colonies  had  been  placed  before  him 
more  fully.  He  was  apparently  not  only  interested,  but  convinced  of  the 
advantages  to  France  of  the  colony,  and  deferred  action  only  until  the  end  of 
the  war.  Before  the  Treaty  was  concluded  he  was  aware  that  Placentia  was  to 
be  ceded,  and  therefore  that  the  establishment  on  Cape  Breton  was  essential. 
He  had  warned  his  colonial  subordinates  to  prepare  for  the  change. 

When  the  time  for  action  came,  Pontchartrain  took  the  ground  that  he  was 
inadequately  informed,  and  secured  the  sanction  of  the  Council  for  his  scheme. 
It  passed  an  order  that  a  vessel  should  be  sent  with  certain  officers  from  the 
garrison  of  Placentia,  who  with  L'Hermitte,  major  and  engineer  of  that  place, 
should  select  the  most  suitable  port.  This,  the  Minister  states  in  his  letter  of 
instructions,  must  be  good,  easy  for  ingress,  exit,  and  defence  ;  that  the  fisheries 
shall  be  abundant  and  near ;  that  there  shall  be  plenty  of  beaches  and  space  for 
curing  ;  that  there  shall  be  good  lands  near  ;  but  that  the  excellence  of  the  port  and 
the  fishing  is  of  prime  importance.2 

This  policy  was  carried  out  ;  Placentia  was  handed  over  to  the  English,  the 
inhabitants  and  the  movable  property  transferred  to  Cape  Breton,  but  as  the 
English  were  not  ready  to  take  possession,8  Costebelle4  the  Governor  and  part 
of  the  garrison  had  to  remain  there  until  the  transaction  was  completed,  and 
until  preparations  were  made  for  receiving  the  inhabitants  in  their  new  homes. 

This  disturbing  of  their  organizations  for  the  prosecution  of  the  fisheries 
led  to  appeals  from  the  people  of  the  fishing  ports  of  France  to  have  an 
arrangement  made  with  England  by  which  they  could  carry  on  in  Newfoundland 
that  industry  during  1714.  Pontchartrain,  however,  informed,  among  others,  the 
Bayle  and  Jurats  of  Siboure  and  of  St.  Jean  de  Luz  that  this  was  impossible, 
and  described  to  them  Isle  Royale  in  attractive  colours.  St.  Ovide  de  Brouillant 5 
was  in  France  in  the  spring  of  1713  and  received  instructions  to  go  at  once  to 

1   Raudot's  paper  is  summarized  by  Charlevoix  and  in  Brown's  Htittry  of  C  a  ft  Brit™. 

1  B,  vol.  35.  *  English  Documents  in  C.O.,  Grants  and  Warrants,  vol.  15. 

*  Philippe  Patteur  de  Co«tcbelle,  Lieut,  at  Pl.icentia,  1692  ;  Capt.   1694  ;   Lieut,  de  Roi,  1695  j  Governor  Placentia, 
1706  j  Chev.  de  St.  Louis,  1708  ;  Governor  Isle  Royale,  1714  ;  died  Nov.  16,  1717. 

*  Ste.  Ovide  de  Brouillant,  nephew  of  de  Brouillant,  Governor  of  Newfoundland  and  Acadia,  entered  the  naval  service  as 
Garde-Marine  in  1689.      He  went  to  Newfoundland  in  1691   and   took  part  in  the  defence*  and  attacks  of  the  local  war 
until  i"io,  in  which  year  he  served  on  the  frigate  La  t'aleur,  received  two  wounds,  and  spent  some  time  in  prison  in 
England.      Passing  to  Isle  Royale  in  1713  as  King's  Lieutenant,  he  succeeded  Costebelle  as  Governor  in    1717,  and  retired 
with  a  pension  of  3100  livres  in  1738. 


La  RochelJe  and  embark  on  the  Scmslack?  commanded  by  Lieut.  Meschin,2 
then  a  young  officer  whose  service  in  the  navy  was  to  extend  in  all  over  sixty 
years.  Ste.  Ovide  was  to  command  the  expedition.  On  her  also  were  to 
embark  the  officers  and  men  of  the  Acadian  Companies  who  had  been  at  Oleron 
near  Rochelle  since  their  surrender  in  1710  at  Port  Royal. 

In  his  course  Pontchartrain  gave  some  weight  to  the  representations  of 
Villien,  an  officer  of  long  experience  in  garrison  at  Port  Royal  in  Acadia,  who 
represented  that  the  troops  from  this  place,  familiar  with  local  conditions,  should 
form  part  of  the  garrison  ;  that  some  Acadians,  for  the  same  reason,  should  be 
sent,  and  that  great  care  in  choosing  a  site  should  be  exercised,  as  mistakes  had 
been  made  both  in  Canada  and  in  Louisiana  which  had  proved  costly  to  the 
King  and  discouraging  to  the  inhabitants  ;  a  frank  criticism  which  is  not  unique 
in  correspondence  of  the  Navy  Department. 

The  officers  who  embarked  in  France  were  four  in  number,  with  two  cadets, 
two  servants,  and  fifteen  soldiers.  At  Placentia  the  Semslack  took  on  board 
L'Hermitte,  de  la  Ronde  Denys,  de  la  Valliere,  and  twenty-five  soldiers,  some 
officials,  women,  and  children,  the  meagre  stores  which  the  Minister  had  ordered 
to  be  sent,  and  sailed  from  Placentia  on  July  23.  Pontchartrain  ordered 
her  to  proceed  after  Placentia  to  Quebec.  Vaudreuil  the  Governor,  and 
d'Alogny,  commander  of  the  troops  in  Canada,  had  been  ordered  to  select 
from  the  troops  under  their  charge  forty  or  fifty  men,  some  of  them  skilled 
axemen,  but  all  steady,  strong,  handy,  and  industrious.  These  men,  under 
command  of  two  officers  who  were  serving  in  Canada,  De  Rouville  and  Pean, 
were  to  form  part  of  the  new  garrison.  The  Semslack  could  not  get  to  Quebec 
in  time  ;  Begon  the  Intendant  therefore  chartered  from  Boularderie — a  name  we 
shall  continually  meet — a  vessel  in  which  he,  a  retired  naval  officer,  was  trading, 
on  which  these  troops  and  some  provisions  were  carried  to  Cape  Breton. 

The  ordinary  sources  do  not  give  any  account  of  the  voyage  of  the  Semslack^ 
but  the  declaration  of  taking  possession  indicated  generally  their  course,  and  that 
the  Quebec  detachment  had  joined  them  before  they  arrived.  This  declaration 
runs  as  follows  : — 

In  the  year  1713  and  the  2nd  day  of  September,  we,  Joseph  Ovide  de  Brouillant, 
King's  Lieutenant  at  Plaisance,  Knight  of  the  Military  Order  of  St.  Louis,  commanding 
His  Majesty's  ship  Semslack  with  M.  L'Hermitte,  Major  and  Engineer,  La  Ronde  and 

1  The  Semslack  was  a  vessel  of  270  tons,  captured  from  the  Dutch  in  1703,  and  used  by  the  French  as  a  freighter 
and  fire-ship.     Her  crew  and  armament  on  a  peace  footing  was  100  men  and  14  guns,  in  war  140  men  and  28  guns,  half  of 
which  were  six  and  the  others  four  pounders.     She  was  described  as  an  ordinary  sailer,  and  disappears  from  the  Navy 
Lists  in  1718  (Arch.  Nat.  Marine,  n,  and  B  5,  Marine  3). 

2  Jeremie  de  Meschin,  born  in  1674,  entered  as  Garde-Marine  at  Rochefort  in  1687,  promoted  Enseigne  in  1700, 
commanded  a  fire-ship  in  1711,  but  did  not  reach  the  full  grade  of  Capitaine  de  Vasseau  until  1738.     He  saw  much 
service.     He  died  in  1757  (Dicticnnaire  de  la  Noblesse,  La  Chenaye-Debois,  vol.  x.,  Paris,  1775). 

iz  THE  CHANGE  OF  NAMES  1713 

Rouville,  Captains,  and  other  officers  named  below,  have  seized  and  taken  possession  of  the 
Island  of  Cape  Breton,  situated  in  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence,  following  the 
orders  which  we  have  thereon  from  His  Most  Christian  Majesty,  dated  the  20th  day  of 
March  of  the  present  year,  to  place  there  the  inhabitants  of  Plaisance,  St.  Pierre,  and  other 
places  which  have  been  ceded  by  the  treaty  of  peace  to  the  Queen  of  Great  Britain. 

We  declare  and  testify  to  all  whom  it  may  concern,  to  have  found  on  the  said  island 
but  one  French  inhabitant  and  twenty-five  or  thirty  families  of  Indians,  and  that  the  said 
Island  of  Cape  Breton  was  ceded  about  eighty  years  ago  to  Messieurs  Denis  of  Tours,  who 
established  there  two  forts,  one  in  the  Bay  of  Ste.  Anne's  and  the  other  at  Port  St.  Peter 
near  the  Strait  of  Canccau,  of  which  we  have  still  found  traces,  and  after  having  visited 
all  the  ports  in  the  said  Island  of  Cape  Breton  which  have  been  indicated  to  us,  we  believed 
and  decided  that  we  could  not  make  a  better  choice  for  the  present  than  that  of  Port  St. 
Louis,  formerly  known  as  English  Harbour,  in  which  port  we  have  this  day  landed  the 
troops,  the  munitions  of  war  and  provisions  which  we  have  left  under  the  orders  of  Sr. 
L'Hermitte.  Signed  by  Decouagne,  De  Lavalliere,  De  Laperrelle,  P6an  Delivandiere,  de 
Pensens,  La  Ronde  Denys,  de  Rouville,  Duvivier,  f.  Dominique  De  Lamarche  (Recollet), 
L'Hermitte,  St.  Ovide  de  Brouillant. 

The  Semslack  sailed  back  to  France  with  St.  Ovide  on  board,  and  arrived 
in  the  first  part  of  December  at  the  Isle  d'Aix.1  He  made  his  report  to  the 
Minister,  and  the  tentative  name  of  Port  St.  Louis,  which  they  gave  to  Havre 
a  1'Anglois,  was  changed  to  Louisbourg.2  Ste.  Anne's  was  to  be  called  Port 
Dauphin  ;  St.  Peter's,  Port  Toulouse  ;  and  the  whole  island,  Isle  Royale.8 

The  little  band  of  116  men,  10  women,  and  23  children,  the  founders  of 
Louisbourg,  were  left  on  the  thickly  wooded  shores  of  that  harbour  with  an 
inadequate  equipment  and  an  unknown  wilderness  before  them. 

The  supplies  were  four  fishing  boats  and  their  gear,  four  herring  nets  and  a  seine  ;  six 
cannons  from  St.  John's,  balls,  masons'  tools  and  picks,  two  hundredweight  of  resin,  a  forge 
and  bellows,  and  the  King's  mules  and  the  horses  from  St.  John's  ;  from  Quebec  three 
hundredweight  of  flour,  ten  barrels  of  peas,  one  barrel  of  Indian  corn,  forty  pairs  of  snow- 
shoes,  150  pairs  of  mocassins,  one  deerskin,  1000  planks,  thirty  shovels,  eighty  little  axes, 
300  pounds  of  tobacco,  three  barrels  of  tar,  and  six  cows.  Costebelle  added  to  this  a  few 
pounds  of  steel  and  sixty  axes,  all  he  could  obtain  in  Placentia.  An  ample  list  had  been 
made  out  for  supplies  from  France,  but  were  apparently  only  partly  shipped.  The  Minister 
ordered  specially  100  axes  from  a  maker,  one  Bidard,  near  Bayonne,  as  he  had  the  reputation 
of  being  a  specially  good  workman.4 

They  made  their  encampment  at  the  Barachois,  formed  by  a  little  brook, 
directly  across  the  south-west  arm  of  Louisbourg  harbour  from  the  site  on  which 
the  town  was  afterwards  built.5  They  made  some  rough  preparations  for  shelter, 
and  began  thereafter  the  task  which  lay  before  them.  The  first  thing  which 

1   Marine,  B2,  f.  135.  2  Arch.  Col.  B,  vol.  36. 

3  The  importance  of  the  illegitimate  children  of  the  King  it  shown  in  the  honour  done  to  the  Comte  dc  Toulouse, 
the  son  of  Madame  de  Montespan.  «  Arch.  Col.  B,  35.  f.  230. 

8  The  advantages  of  the  beaches  on  the  latter  side  cau«ed  some  of  the  people  to  settle  there  at  once. 


was  done  was  to  cut  through  the  woods  a  road  to  the  Mire,  along  the  banks  of 
which  was  the  most  available  supply  of  timber.  At  this  they  were  working  early 
in  October,  and  later  the  detachments  were,  sent  into  the  woods  to  cut  timber 
for  the  proposed  buildings,  in  particular  the  barracks,  which  L'Hermitte  had 
at  once  designed.  A  detachment  of  troops  under  Duvivier  was  placed  at  the 
head  of  the  river,  and  that  of  Rouville  about  twelve  miles  lower  down.  Duvivier 
was  in  a  poor  district,  and  a  month  was  wasted  before  L'Hermitte  visited  the 
encampment  and  moved  him  to  a  more  favourable  place.  The  inexperience  of 
most  of  the  officers  told  against  their  effectiveness.  L'Hermitte  wished  for  four 
or  five  like  Rouville,  and  while  he  considered  all  the  soldiers  good,  the  Canadians 
proved  particularly  valuable.  On  the  other  hand,  he  says  that  only  five  men 
in  Duvivier's  detachment  knew  how  to  saw,  and  that  had  it  not  been  for  a 
small  quantity  of  steel  sent  by  Costebelle,  they  would  have  been  without  axes  ; 
but  in  spite  of  all  these  disadvantages  they  got  out  more  timber  than  they  were 
able  to  transport  in  the  next  season  to  Louisbourg. 

The  season  was  a  bad  one  ;  winter  set  in  early,  the  men  suffered  from 
scurvy,  and  as  early  as  December  they  had  to  kill  the  cattle  sent  from  Quebec. 
Three  of  their  horses,  the  spoils  of  the  capture  of  St.  John's,  succumbed  ;  and 
out  of  twenty-one  head  of  cattle  with  which  they  began,  only  two  were  alive 
in  the  spring,  which  this  year  reached  almost  the  extreme  limit  of  the  island's 
climatic  unsatisfactoriness.  Snow  was  on  the  ground,  and  drift-ice  off  the  coast, 
as  late  as  the  end  of  May.  The  first  vessel  to  arrive,  the  Hercule,  was  in  the 
icefields  for  twenty  days,  and  a  small  vessel  laden  with  provisions  for  the  troops 
at  Mire  was  wrecked  on  her  voyage. 

La  Ronde  Denys,  Couagne,  who  was  an  engineer,  and  Rouville  had  been 
sent  to  examine  Port  Dauphin  and  to  explore  the  country.  They  came  back 
with  a  good  report,  having  examined  the  fertile  lands  on  the  Bras  d'Or  about 
Baddeck,  and  found  them  suitable  for  settlement. 

In  the  interval  L'Hermitte  worked  over  his  plans  for  fortifications,  and 
submitted  them  to  Vaudreuil  and  Begon,  the  Governor-General  and  Intendant 
of  Canada,  who  arrived  at  Louisbourg  on  the  2Oth  of  May  and  remained  there 
until  the  yth  of  June.  He  discussed  with  them  on  the  ground  the  simple  system 
of  isolated  forts  which  he  proposed  to  build.  He  received  from  the  Minister 
instructions  that  the  works  should  be  built  solidly,  and,  in  his  trouble,  bitterness 
of  heart  showed  through  the  respectful  phrases  of  his  reply.  There  was 
neither  building  stone  nor  lime,  and  as  the  vessels  had  brought  no  supplies,  his 
many  workmen  were  ineffective,  for  he  had  neither  nails  nor  iron,  and  only 
eighteen  bad  axes  and  twelve  picks.  He  also  was  without  funds,  and  found  that 
the  Indians  would  not  work  without  pay. 

While  this  work  was  going  on  steps  were  taken  towards  the  removal  of 

i4  THE  ACADIANS  1714 

the  Acadians  to  Isle  Royale.  By  Article  XIV.  of  the  Treaty  of  Utrecht,  they 
were  entitled  to  remove  from  Acadia  with  their  personal  effects  within  one  year. 
C^ueen  Anne,  to  mark  her  recognition  of  Louis  XIV.  having  released,  at  her 
request,  French  Protestants  from  the  galleys,  gave  special  permission  to  those 
who  left  the  country  to  sell  their  lands.1 

The  twenty-four  hundred  Acadians  affected  by  these  provisions  were  the 
descendants  of  about  sixty  families  brought  from  Western  France  in  1633-38, 
and  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  or  thirty  men  who  settled  in  the  colony 
between  that  time  and  its  cession  to  England.2  The  earliest  settlers  were 
familiar  with  the  reclamation  of  marsh  lands  by  dyking  as  practised  in  their 
native  districts.  They  found  conditions  favourable  to  this  system  on  the  shores 
of  the  Bay  of  Fundy,  "  the  Coasts  whereof  and  the  banks  of  the  adjacent  Rivers 
abound  with  Salt  Marshes,  which  by  the  Force  of  a  Rich  Soil,  constantly 
recruited  with  marine  Salts,  and  so,  not  to  be  impoverished,  by  constant 
Tillage,  produce  large  crops  of  English  grain,  with  little  labour  to  the 

The  waters  of  this  bay  are  indeed  a  fountain  of  perpetual  youth,  for  some 
of  these  lands,  never  fertilized  but  by  the  deposits  of  its  tides,  still  bear  most 
abundant  crops  within  dykes  built  by  the  French,  and  in  the  work  of  bringing 
in  the  marshes  which  is  now  going  on  about  the  Isthmus  of  Chignecto  no 
change  has  been  made  from  the  methods  of  the  Acadian  pioneers.  As  land  of 
this  extraordinary  fertility  could  be  obtained  for  the  most  part  by  co-operative 
dyking,  and  yielded  its  crops  with  a  minimum  of  labour,  the  Acadian  was 
indisposed  to  attack  the  adjoining  forest  to  obtain  land  relatively  poor.  Their 
settlements,  except  as  determined  by  the  seat  of  Government,  were  therefore 
at  points  where  these  advantages  could  be  obtained.  Vetch,  who  governed 
Annapolis  for  three  years,  says  they  had  five  thousand  black  cattle  "  and  a  great 
number  of  Sheep  and  Hoggs,"  indicative  of  a  fair  degree  of  prosperity.  The 
name  of  Port  Royal  had  been  changed  to  Annapolis  Royal,  and  there,  Francis 
Nicholson,  who  had  seen  a  varied  service  in  all  the  colonies  from  Virginia 
northwards,  had  charge  of  Acadia  as  Governor-General  and  Commander-in- 
Chief  of  all  the  forces  in  that  province  and  in  Newfoundland.  His  Lieutenant- 
Governor  was  Thomas  Caulfield,  and  these  two,  with  a  very  small  military  and 
civil  establishment,  administered  a  British  colony,  none  of  the  people  of  which 
were  British  subjects.  The  French  Court  was  extremely  anxious  to  accomplish 
the  removal  of  its  former  subjects  to  French  territory.  The  Ministerial 
correspondence  contains  many  letters  to  Vaudreuil,  to  the  other  Canadian 
officials,  and  to  the  priests  of  Acadia,  asking  for  their  help  to  incite  the  Acadians 

1   N.S.  Arch.  vol.  i,  p.  15.  *   Hannay,  Hiit-.ry  cf  Acadij,  p.  290. 

3  Skirttf  Afev::irs.  174",  p.  3. 


to  take  advantage  of  their  treaty  rights.1  The  efforts  made  went  further. 
Baron  de  St.  Castin  received  much  praise  for  not  having  availed  himself  of  a 
leave  of  absence,  but  instead  spent  the  winter  among  the  Acadian  Indians  with 
whom  he  was  allied  by  ties  of  companionship  and  blood,  in  an  effort  to  induce 
them  to  move  to  Isle  Royale.  In  this  he  was  not  successful,  but  he  received 
praise  for  having  kept  alive  their  unfriendly  feelings  against  the  English,  and 
these  good  offices  doubtless  led  the  authorities  to  condone  his  behaviour  in  the 
previous  winter  by  which  he  had  scandalized  the  nuns  in  Quebec.2 

L'Hermitte,  on  the  23rd  of  July  1714,  addressed  a  letter  to  Nicholson, 
quoting  the  terms  of  the  treaty  by  which  the  Acadians  might  withdraw.  His 
orders  were  that  should  he  learn  that  the  Acadians  were  hindered  in  taking 
advantage  of  these  privileges  he  should  send  an  officer  to  confer  with  Nicholson, 
to  whom  was  addressed  the  Queen's  letter3  granting  the  additional  concessions. 
He  goes  on  to  say  that  several  Acadians  had  informed  him  that  Caulfield  had 
refused  permission  to  certain  who  wished  to  leave,  and  in  consequence  he  sends 
to  him  Captain  La  Ronde  Denys,  bearing  the  orders  of  the  King,  to  discuss  the 
matter  with  him,  and  trusts  that  Nicholson  has  no  other  views  than  carrying  out 
the  wishes  of  his  Sovereign,  concluding  with  a  request  that  they  should  mutually 
return  deserters  for  the  benefit  of  each  colony.  A  few  days  later  St.  Ovide  also 
writes  that  he  is  sending  Captain  de  Pensens  with  L'Hermitte's  letter,  and  asks 
Nicholson  to  discuss  these  questions  with  the  two  officers. 

They  set  out  from  Louisbourg  on  two  vessels,  both  of  which  had  arrived 
at  Annapolis  before  July  23,  for  on  that  day  they  write  to  Nicholson  beginning, 
"  We  de  la  Ronde  Denys  and  de  Pensens,  Captains  of  Companies  Franches  de 
la  Marine,  which  His  Christian  Majesty  maintains  at  Isle  Royale,  sent  by 
Monsieur  St.  Ovide  de  Brouillan,  Lieutenant  du  Roy  of  the  said  Island  to 
represent  to  Monsieur  de  Nicholson  General  de  la  Nouvelle  Ecosse  et  Isle  de 
Terre  Neuve  "  the  rights  which  Her  British  Majesty  has  been  pleased  to  accord 
to  the  inhabitants  of  the  said  country,  and  as  the  intention  of  His  Most  Christian 
Majesty  is  to  maintain  them,  we  beg  the  General  to  give  attention  to  the 
following  articles.  These  were  :  a  request  that  he  would  cause  to  be  assembled, 
first  the  inhabitants  of  Port  Royal,  thereafter  those  of  the  other  settlements,  and 
appoint  a  British  officer  who  with  one  of  them  would  hear  and  register  the 
decisions  of  the  inhabitants  as  to  remaining  in  Acadia  or  leaving  ;  that  those 
who  decide  to  go  shall  have  a  year  from  the  time  permission  is  given,  during 
which  time  they  may  live  without  molestation  from  the  authorities,  carry  away 
all  their  personal  property  ;  build  vessels  for  this  purpose  ;  that  there  shall  be 
no  obstacles  to  bringing  in  French  rigging  for  such  vessels  ;  that  the  General 

1  I.R.  Series  B,  vols.  35  and  36.  2  A.N.  C",  (Canada),  vol.  33,  f.  265. 

3  June  13,  1713. 

16  LA  RONDE'S  ADDRESS  1714 

should  publish  in  all  inhabited  places  permission  for  them  to  sell  their  lands,  for 
the  English  to  buy  them,  and  that  if  within  the  year  they  cannot  sell,  they  shall 
have  the  right  to  give  a  power  of  attorney  to  some  one  to  act  for  them  until 
buyers  are  found  ;  and  finally,  that  justice  shall  be  done  to  those  who  have 
suffered  at  the  hands  of  Vetch  and  Colonel  Hobby  in  the  time  between  the 
capitulation  and  the  treaty  of  peace.  To  this  they  add  a  postscript,  saying 
that  as  one  of  them  must  return  at  once  to  give  a  report,  they  beg  that  he  will 
assemble  the  inhabitants  no  later  than  Sunday  the  25th. 

This  was  immediately  taken  into  consideration  by  the  Council,  and,  as  an 
answer,  a  copy  of  the  minutes  was  returned.  The  assembly  of  the  inhabitants 
was  granted,  Major  .Mascarene  and  Lieut.  Bennett  were  appointed  to  go  with 
the  French  envoys  to  the  other  settlements  and  carry  out  the  negotiations  in  the 
same  way  as  at  Annapolis,  and  to  arrange  with  Denys  their  time  of  leaving  and 
the  means  of  transport  ;  the  Governor  would  not  fix  the  time  when  the  year 
of  grace  was  to  begin,  but  would  submit  the  matter  to  the  decision  of  Her 
Majesty,  as  well  as  all  the  other  points  raised,  except  the  last,  on  which  he  asked 
for  all  available  information,  and  promised  full  justice. 

The  proclamation  calling  together  the  inhabitants  was  issued  and  the 
meeting  held  on  the  feast-day  of  St.  Louis  at  the  fort  of  Annapolis.  The 
Governor,  Lieutenant-Governor,  and  the  principal  officers  of  the  garrison  were 
present,  as  were  two  missionaries,  the  Fathers  Justinien  and  Bonaventure,  and 
Father  Gaulin  the  priest.  La  Ronde  Denys  alone  represented  France  as 
De  Pensens  was  unwell.  A  list  was  made  of  the  inhabitants  present,  they 
numbered  nine  hundred  and  sixteen,  represented  by  one  hundred  and  sixty-nine 
heads  of  families.1  They  encircled  the  officers  in  the  square,  and  heard  read  to 
them  Nicholson's  order  for  the  meeting  and  the  Queen's  letter,  both  of  which 
were  translated  for  them,  and  the  latter  formally  compared  with  La  Ronde's 
copy.  Then,  invited  by  Nicholson,  La  Ronde  made  his  propositions.  If  his 
letters  indicate  his  oratorical  style  he  was  a  fervid  speaker,  careless  of  grammar, 
and  not  altogether  accurate  as  to  facts.2  He,  on  this  occasion,  went  beyond  his 
instructions  in  the  promises  he  made  to  the  Acadians.  He  spoke  of  the  goodwill 
of  the  King  who  would  furnish  to  them  vessels  for  their  transport,  provisions 
for  a  year  to  those  who  needed  them,  freedom  from  duties  on  all  their  trade  for 
ten  years,  and  added  a  promise  which  was  of  great  importance  to  them,  for  the 
Acadians  disliked  the  land  system  of  Canada,  that  there  would  be  no  seignories, 
but  that  they  would  hold  their  lands  direct  from  the  King.  Nicholson  added  that 
he  was  ready  to  receive  any  complaints  of  bad  treatment.  La  Ronde  thanked 

1  151  men,  165  women,  325  boyi,  275  girls. 

2  L'Hermitte  laid  of  him  that  hii  flatteries  and  lies  would  trouble  the  universe.      The  Minister  wrote  to  Beauharnois 
May  18,  1728  about  La  Ronde  Denys  then  serving   in  Canada,  "Of  all  the  officers  in  the  colony  he  is  the  least  deserving 
of  consideration  "  (B,  vol.  53). 


him  in  the  name  of  all  the  inhabitants  for  "  the  civil,  upright  and  frank  manner  " 
in  which  he  had  acted  with  them,  and  then  by  his  permission  they  went  to 
La  Ronde's  lodgings  and  there  one  hundred  and  forty-six  of  them  signed  "  avec 
toute  la  joie  et  le  contentment  dont  nous  sornmes  capables  "  the  document  by 
which  they  pledged  themselves  to  live  and  die  faithful  subjects  of  Louis  and  to 
migrate  to  Isle  Royale. 

Fifteen  embarked  immediately  on  the  Marie  Joseph  and  went  to  Cape 
Breton  with  De  Pensens.  Of  these  only  one  of  those  whose  age  is  given 
was  under  forty,  and  as  regards  social  status  they  were  about  equally  divided 
between  those  who  had  a  trunk  and  those  who  had  their  property  in  bags.1 
Charles  D'Entremont,  Sieur  de  Pobomicou,  his  wife,  son,  and  daughter,  went 
on  their  own  vessel  with  a  crew  of  two,  and  four  passengers.  The  details 
bear  out  Vetch's  statement  that  these  first  emigrants  were  of  no  very  great 

The  transaction  at  Annapolis  being  thus  concluded,  La  Ronde  Denys  and 
the  two  British  officers  went  to  Minas,  where  the  inhabitants  met  them,  were 
numbered,  and  one  hundred  and  thirty-nine  agreed  to  go  to  Isle  Royale. 
[Population  :  139  men,  140  women,  306  boys,  289  girls  ;  total,  874  ;  heads  of 
families,  145.]  At  Cobequid  seventeen  signed.  [Population  :  20  men,  20 
women,  52  boys,  44  girls  ;  total,  136  ;  21  heads  of  families.]  La  Ronde  Denys 
then  told  the  English  officers  that  everything  had  been  done  to  his  satisfaction. 
They  set  sail  together  and  the  vessels  parted  company  in  the  basin  of  Minas  on 
September  8,  La  Ronde  on  the  St.  Louis,  having  with  him  several  inhabitants, 
one  of  them  with  a  substantial  quantity  of  grain. 

These  transactions  were  carried  out  with  great  formality,  certified  copies 
of  all  documents  were  interchanged,  and  there  was  no  disagreement  between  the 
parties.  Nicholson  wrote  civilly  to  L'Hermitte  and  St.  Ovide,  and  both 
Governors  sent  a  report  of  these  events  to  the  home  authorities.  In  the  accounts 
of  the  meetings  at  Cobequid  and  Minas,  there  is  no  mention  of  the  priests 
having  been  present.  The  proportion  of  signers  at  these  two  meetings  was  even 
greater  than  at  Annapolis,  so  that  the  inhabitants  did  not  require  the  direct 
presence  of  their  leaders  to  make  them  follow  wishes,  which,  however,  these 
leaders  had  previously  many  opportunities  of  making  known  to  them.  In  any 
community  so  simply  organized  that  it  contains  no  great  landed  proprietors  and 
few,  if  any,  lawyers  or  professional  men,  whether  the  religion  of  that  community 
be  Roman  Catholic  or  Protestant,  the  influence  of  the  clergymen  in  all  matters 
is  great.  It  seems  to  have  been  so  in  New  England  at  that  time  ;  those  who 
knew  Cape  Breton  a  generation  ago,  know  its  force  then,  and  that  in  civil 
affairs  the  dictum  of  a  Presbyterian  divine  was  as  potent  as  that  of  a  priest.  It 

1  The  live  stock  they  took  with  them  was  twelve  sheep,  three  bullocks,  a  cow  and  a  calf. 


is  inevitable  that  such  power  should  exist  ;  its  justification  is  in  the  results  which 
follow  its  exercise. 

The  mission  of  La  Ronde  was  highly  successful.  With  a  few  exceptions 
all  the  people  he  saw  agreed  to  go  to  Isle  Royale.  No  obstacle  was  put  in  their 
way,  and  the  outcome  would  seem  to  have  depended  entirely  on  the  French 
authorities  carrying  out  the  promises  which  had  been  made  on  their  behalf. 
The  population  of  Beaubassin  and  the  other  settlements  about  the  isthmus  of 
Chignecto  were  not  visited  by  La  Ronde  and  Mascarene.1 

While  but  a  score  or  so  of  Acadians  accompanied  the  Envoys  on  their 
return  to  Isle  Royale,  certain  others  more  enterprising  had  previously  gone 
there.  Two  brothers  from  the  head  of  the  river  at  Annapolis,  anxious  about 
their  destiny,  "  which  they  could  not  ascertain  in  that  country,"  2  started  in  a  Biscay 
shallop  towards  the  end  of  May,  and  coasted  along  the  shores  of  Nova  Scotia 
to  Isle  Royale.  On  the  eighth  day  they  arrived  at  St.  Peter's  and  Isle  Madame, 
then  they  spent  a  day  at  Louisbourg,  another  at  Mordienne  (Port  Morien),  the 
following  at  St.  Anne's,  where  a  Canadian  had  already  settled  and  the  fisheries 
were  being  successfully  prosecuted.  Returning,  they  called  at  L'Indienne 
(Lingan),  abounding  in  coal  and  oysters,  with  one  inhabitant  ;  at  Menadou 
(Mainadieu),  and  came  back  to  Louisbourg  on  June  15.  There  they  remained, 
building  a  house  for  M.  Rodrigue,  lately  King's  pilot  at  Annapolis,  until 
August  12,  and  then  proceeded  along  the  coast,  through  Canso,  home  by 
Baie  Verte.  They  give  a  fair  picture  of  Louisbourg,  with  what  they  describe 
as  a  large  fort  which  was  being  built,  many  cannons  landed  on  the  shore,  ninety- 
three  from  Placentia,  vessels  making  a  good  catch  of  cod,  two  King's  ships 
about  to  sail  for  Placentia.  Reports  were  abroad  that  the  Char  en  te  would 
shortly  arrive  with  supplies,  and  also  the  Affriquain  from  Quebec  with 

1  The  authentic*  for  this  episode  are  to  be  found  at  Ottawa  (M.  ^^),  and  Record  Office  j  B.T.N.S.  vol.  I,  has  the 
English  version.    The  population  is  based  on  a  table  prepared  for  me  at  the  Canadian  Archives,  which  may  be  condensed  thus  : 
Men.  Women.  Boys.  Girls.  Total.         Heads  of  Families. 

151  165  325  275  916  169 

1J9  HO  306  289  874  145 

20  20  52  44  157  21 

55  58  136  102  351  56 

365  383  819  710  2277  391 

A  total  population  of  2277,  which  with  123  at  outlying  points  makes  2400.     One  third  of  the  signers  of  the  declaration* 
were  able  to  sign  their  names  ;  out  of  302  heads  of  families  all  but  100  signed  with  a  mark. 
a  B.T.N.S.  vol.  2,  66. 


Vaudreuil  on  board.  They  saw  there  a  Boston  trader  with  boards,  salt,  and 
general  merchandise  ;  and  on  their  way  home  passed  another  from  Cascoe  Bay, 
with  the  same  cargo.  All  these  facts  they  swore  to  in  a  declaration  made  before 
Nicholson  on  their  return,  but  this  document  is  silent  as  to  their  destinies. 

Another  Acadian,  one  Arceneau,  adventurous  enough  to  voyage  in  a  canoe 
from  Baie  Verte  to  the  Baie  de  Chaleurs,  and  then  in  a  shallop  to  Louisbourg, 
makes  the  same  report  of  good  fishing  not  only  on  the  Cape  Breton  coast  but 
among  the  many  Basque  vessels  in  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence.1  L'Hermitte, 
authorized  to  place  people  on  the  land  at  the  King's  pleasure,  gave,  up  to  the 
end  of  August,  permission  to  twenty-four  Acadians  to  settle  on  a  little  river 
near  St.  Peter's.  Another  party  was  also  sent  there,  but  without  any  definite 
promise  of  land,  as  L'Hermitte  wished  to  have  them  as  settlers  at  Port  Dauphin. 
After  Vaudreuil's  second  visit  in  October  a  party  of  Acadians  was  sent  under 
the  leadership  of  De  Couagne  to  inspect  the  lands  on  the  Bras  d'Or,  but 
they  did  not  approve  of  them,  and  the  officials  thought  that  their  secret  desire 
was  to  go  to  the  Isle  St.  Jean  (Prince  Edward  Island).  The  comparison  from 
a  farming  standpoint  of  the  best  lands  in  well-wooded  Isle  Royale,  and  the 
meadows  which  they  had  reclaimed,  or  which  lay  ready  for  reclamation,  along 
the  Bay  of  Fundy,  was  so  obviously  to  the  disadvantage  of  the  former,  that  it 
demanded  a  genuine  loyalty  to  consider  emigration.  A  council  was  held  at 
Louisbourg  on  October  16,  at  which  Vaudreuil  and  the  Recollect  Missionary, 
Felix  Pain,  were  present,  with  Costebelle  and  the  new  Commissaire-Ordonnateur, 
Soubras.  Regret  was  expressed  that  the  promises  made  to  the  Acadians  had 
not  been  kept,  and  they  were  specifically  renewed  for  another  year. 

Costebelle  had  remained  at  Placentia.  He  was  advised  in  the  autumn  of 
1713,  that  to  avoid  the  hardship  of  moving  in  the  inclement  season  the 
evacuation  was  off  until  the  spring,  and  at  the  close  of  the  year  issued  a 
proclamation  to  the  people  announcing  the  cession  of  the  island  and  the  necessity 
for  removal  to  Cape  Breton.  The  English  expedition  to  take  possession  of 
Newfoundland,  two  regiments  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Moody,  had 
been  driven  into  Vigo  and  had  spent  the  winter  at  Lisbon,  and  only  arrived  in 
Newfoundland  the  next  year,.  During  the  season  the  guns  and  stores  were 
transported  to  Cape  Breton.  On  July  23,  1714,  Costebelle  himself  left  on  the 
Heros,  and  in  the  autumn  the  inhabitants  straggled  over  in  their  own  boats. 
The  weather  was  bad,  some  were  lost,  and  all  suffered  in  this  difficult  voyage. 

Thus  the  year  ended.  Some  building  was  done,  but  L'Hermitte  was  in 
despair  about  the  ineffectiveness  of  the  troops,  the  lack  of  care  of  the  King's 
stores,  the  use  by  private  individuals  of  the  building  material  he  had  gathered, 

1  These  voyages  in  small  boats  may  stand  to  the  credit  of  the  Acadians  against  the  many  bad  reports  given  of  them 
by  the  French  authorities. 


and  the  evils  of  divided  authority.  Soubras,  the  newly  appointed  Commissaire- 
Ordonnateur,  complained  of  the  bad  effects  of  drink  ;  of  the  gambling  and 
mutinous  soldiery,  who,  nevertheless,  were  better  paid,  fed,  and  clothed  than  any 
troops  he  had  ever  seen  ;  and  of  the  ineffectiveness  of  L'Hermitte.  The  soldiers 
had  not  received  the  bonus  for  their  work  which  had  been  promised.  This  had 
not  only  made  it  exceedingly  ineffective,  but  had  aggravated  them  to  the  point 
of  mutiny,  and  they  had  begun  that  excessive  indulgence  in  drink  with  which 
the  authorities  were  powerless  to  cope. 

It  had  been  intended  that  the  troops  should  winter  in  Baie  des  Espagnols, 
but  the  necessary  arrangements  were  not  'made,  and  in  December  it  was  decided 
to  place  them  at  Mire,  where  the  cabins  left  standing  from  last  year  could  be 
utilized.  Sickness  prevailed,  and  the  first  death  noted  at  Louisbourg  is  that  of 
M.  Du  Vivier.  On  the  other  hand  the  fishing  had  been  excellent,  fourteen  or 
fifteen  vessels  had  engaged  in  it,  fewer  than  would  have  been  the  case  had  there 
not  been  a  scarcity  of  salt  in  France.  As  it  had  been  bad  in  Newfoundland,  it 
gave  the  newcomers  a  favourable  impression  of  the  country,  arduous  as  had 
been  the  struggle  with  the  elements  by  which  they  reached  it. 

The  population  in  January  1715  numbered  about  720,  exclusive  of  unmarried  soldiers, 
but  including  military  and  civil  officers.  It  was  arranged  by  habitations,  and  with  few 
exceptions  they  were  the  people  from  Placentia  (men,  118;  women,  80  ;  children,  170; 
servants,  39  ;  fishermen,  300).  Incidentally  this  document  throws  light  on  the  way  of  life 
in  the  colony.  The  Governor,  Costebelle,  whose  salary  was  4000  livres,  lived  alone.  His 
establishment  consisted  of  a  secretary,  one  woman  and  two  men  servants,  and  seventeen 
fishermen.  St.  Ovide  had  with  him  his  wife,  three  children,  and  three  men  servants,  a 
gardener,  cook  and  valet,  and  he  employed  thirteen  fishermen.  Soubras  kept  a  bachelor 
establishment  with  two  young  officers,  Fontenay  and  Pe"an,  and  had  ten  fishers.  L'Hermitte 
had  a  clerk  and  eight  fishers,  and  his  household  arrangements  were  looked  after  by  his  wife 
and  one  servant.  St.  Marie  had  twelve  fishers  and  seven  men  on  his  boat  (batteau),  but 
La  Ronde,  Rouville,  Legondez,  and  other  officers  did  not  fish.1 

The  merchants  who  flourished  at  Louisbourg,  and  whose  names  reappear 
from  time  to  time  in  the  scanty  records  of  its  commerce,  for  the  most  part 
came  this  year,  and  already  had  formed  establishments,  the  largest  of  which 
were  those  of  Berrichon,  Rodrigue,  and  Daccarette,  respectively  of  twenty- 
nine,  twelve,  and  nineteen  men.  There  were  among  the  women  five  widows 
of  the  official  class,  the  most  recent  being  Madame  Du  Vivier,  who  had 
arrived  with  her  children  from  France  only  a  short  time  before  her  husband's 
death,  and  eight  others,  of  whom  three  had  fishing  establishments,  two  of  them 
of  importance,  one  with  twelve  and  the  other  with  thirteen  men.  The  widow 
Onfroy  of  St.  Malo  claimed  that  she  was  the  first  to  send  vessels  to  Cape 

1  I.R.G.  466. 


Breton,  and  with  such  satisfactory  results  that  the  fleets  of  St.  Malo  and 
Grandville  imitated  her.1  This  much  is  certain  at  this  early  time,  that  the 
fishing  was  largely  done  by  Basques.  The  Acadian  explorers  of  this  year 
mention  only  Basque  vessels  on  their  voyages  in  the  gulf  and  on  the  coasts 
of  Cape  Breton. 

The  new  establishment  was  amid  surroundings  which  might  appear 
unfavourable,  and  while  it  was  inadequately  supported  by  the  home  authorities, 
its  personnel  could  not  have  found  Louisbourg  relatively  unsatisfactory.  Most 
of  the  officers  had  been  a  long  time  in  Placentia,  and  although  Costebelle 
places  both  towns  "  in  the  most  sterile  deserts  of  America,"  in  climate  and 
other  conditions  the  comparison  is  not  against  Isle  Royale.  Rouville  and 
his  Canadians  were  now  in  a  less  severe  climate  than  Quebec,  and  the  nucleus 
of  the  population  were  fisher-folk  from  Newfoundland,  skilled  in  an  art  which 
they  began  at  once  to  practise  under  conditions  which  they  found,  allowance 
being  made  for  the  unsettled  condition  and  high  prices  of  a  new  colony,  not 
unfavourable.  With  an  Acadian  population  drawn  to  Isle  Royale,  as  seemed 
probable,  its  position  would  be  strong.  Colonel  Vetch,  unlikely  to  overvalue 
the  Acadians,  thus  expresses  the  advantage  to  France  of  the  conditions  which 
they  expected  to  find  the  next  year  (1715)  in  Cape  Breton  : 

"  And  as  the  accession  of  such  a  number  of  Inhabitants  to  Cape  Breton  will  make  it 
at  once  a  very  populous  Colony ;  (in  which  the  strength  of  all  the  Country's  consists)  So  it 
is  to  be  considered  that  one  hundred  of  the  French,  who  were  born  upon  that  continent, 
and  are  perfectly  known  in  the  woods,  can  march  upon  snowshoes,  and  understand  the  use 
of  Birch  Canoes,  are  of  more  value  and  service  than  five  times  their  number  of  raw  men, 
newly  come  from  Europe.  So  their  skill  in  the  Fishery,  as  well  as  the  cultivating  of  the 
soil,  must  inevitably  make  that  Island,  by  such  an  accession  of  people,  and  French,  at  once 
the  most  powerful  colony  the  French  have  in  America,  and  of  the  greatest  danger  and 
damage  to  all  the  British  Colony's  as  well  as  the  universal  trade  of  Great  Britain."  2 

One,  Jethro  Furber,  who  declared  vaguely  that,  being  on  a  voyage,  probably 
smuggling,  he  took  refuge  in  Louisbourg,  gives  an  interesting  picture,  closely 
tallying  with  that  of  the  Acadians,  of  the  new  settlement,  "with  forty  vessels 
loading  and  six  sail  of  men-of-warr  in  its  harbour,  commodious  enough  for 
five  hundred  sail  of  shipps,"  its  fishing  so  good  that  the  boats  twice  daily 
brought  in  their  loads,  and  its  people  elated  that  "  ye  English  gave  them  a 
Wedge  of  Gold  tor  a  piece  of  silver."  3 

These  testimonies  seem  to  justify  entirely  the  view  taken  in  the  first 
appeal  for  funds  for  Louisbourg  which  Pontchartrain  makes  to  the  King's 
Treasurer  : 

1  Arch.  Col.  B,  36.  2  Nova  Scotia  Archives,  vol.  i,  p.  6. 

8  An  affidavit  signed  at  Kingston  in  Jamaica,  April  20,  1715  (B.T.N.S.  vol.  2). 


"The  English  are  well  aware  of  the  importance  of  this  post,  and  are  already  taking 
umbrage  in  the  matter.  They  sec  that  it  will  be  prejudicial  to  their  trade,  and  that  in 
time  of  war  it  will  be  a  menace  to  their  shipping,  and  on  the  first  outbreak  of  trouble  they 
will  be  sure  to  use  every  means  to  get  possession  of  it.  It  is  therefore  necessary  to  fortify 
it  thoroughly.  If  France  were  to  lose  this  Island  the  loss  would  be  an  irreparable  one,  and 
it  would  involve  the  loss  of  all  her  holdings  in  North  America."  1 



This  anonymous  memoir  is  worthy  of  attention,  as  it  is  written  by  one 
who  had  been  on  the  ground,  and  sets  forth  what  he  conceived  to  be  the 
advantages  of  the  proposed  colony  and  its  resources.  In  passages  which  have 
not  been  reprinted  he  refers  several  times  to  the  visit  of  the  fleet  of  the 
Chevalier  du  Palais  to  Baie  des  Espagnols  in  1692,  and  writes  of  that  port  as 
an  eye-witness.  It  is  probable  that  he  was  an  officer  in  that  squadron. 

The  memoir  begins  with  a  statement  as  to  the  purpose  of  colonies,  the 
solid  advantages  of  the  mother-country  and  the  extension  of  its  commerce.  On 
these  principles  the  southern  colonies  are  useful,  as  they  produce  commodities 
which,  otherwise,  France  would  have  to  buy  from  foreigners,  and  trade  with 
them  employs  many  ships  and  men  who  consume  French  products  and  produce 
revenues  to  the  State.  Even  Canada  is  important  for  its  furs,  and  the  home 
consumption  and  exportation  of  beaver  hats. 

The  proposed  colony  is  important  for  the  commerce  in  cod,  one  of  the 
most  important  in  the  kingdom,  for  it  uses  much  salt,  sustains  many  seamen 
and  fishers  and  their  families,  pays  heavy  taxes,  and  the  new  establishment  would 
place  it  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  French.  It  has,  moreover,  the  advantage 
in  extreme  healthfulness  over  those  of  the  West  Indies. 

Cape  Breton  is  selected  as  the  seat  of  the  colony,  as  it  has  advantages  in  the 
extent  of  the  commerce  which  can  be  carried  on  with  all  parts  of  the  world,  the 
excellence  of  its  ports,  the  mildness  of  its  climate  and  its  salubrity,  the  fertility 
of  its  soil,  and  the  excellence  of  its  fisheries. 

Then  follows  a  description  of  the  island  and  its  ports,  great  importance 
being  given  and  a  plan  attached  of  Baie  des  Espagnols  (Sydney),  which  the 
writer  thinks  the  best  in  the  island,  not  only  as  a  harbour,  but  from  its  situation, 
as  from  it  roads  could  easily  be  made  to  all  the  other  principal  ports,  and  thus 
easy  intercommunication  be  given  to  the  settlers. 

1  Arch.  Col.  B,  vol.  37,  f.  26,  1/2. 
2  Arch.  Col.  Cn,  Air.erijut  du  A'or</,  vol.  8,  in  which  arc  also  Raudot's  Memoirs. 


The  land  is  highly  praised  on  account  of  the  trees  it  produces — elm,  maple, 
ash,  beech,  and  birch,  the  same  as  Canada,  and  therefore  presumably  will  produce, 
as  Canada  does,  good  crops.  Its  climate,  he  points  out,  will  improve  as  it  is 
cleared,  as  it  is  the  retention  of  the  snows  and  the  shading  of  the  ground  by 
the  primaeval  forest  which  make  Canada  so  much  colder  than  corresponding 
latitudes  in  Europe — the  prevailing  view  among  scientists  of  the  time. 

Then  follows  a  description,  which  subsequent  exploration  has  materially 
modified,  of  the  possibilities  of  the  country,  its  timber,  tar,  pitch,  its  gypsum 
and  marble  and  other  stones,  its  "  porphire  qu'on  a  trouve  fort  beau  a  la  Cour  oh 
feu  M.  le  Marquis  de  Louvois  en  fit  apporter,"  its  coal  and  its  furs,  and,  above 
all,  its  advantageous  position  for  the  fisheries,  thus  dealt  with  by  the  writer  : 


Elles  se  renferment  toutes  dans  la  seule  pesche  des  molues,  il  ne  s'agit  pas  icy  d'en 
donner  le  detail  ny  la  description,  le  Sieur  Denis  y  a  satisfait  dans  son  histoire  naturelle  de 
1'Ame'rique  Septentrionale  avec  toute  1'exactitude  qu'on  scauroit  d&irer,  il  n'est  question 
que  de  faire  voir  ainsy  qu'on  se  Test  propos£  qu'on  ne  retirera  jamais  tous  les  avantages  des 
pesches  qu'en  les  rendant  sddentaires,  et  que  ce  n'est  que  dans  1'Isle  du  Cap  Breton  qu'on 
peut  executter  avec  succez  une  enterprise  de  cette  importance. 

La  pesche  des  molues  se  fait  en  deux  manieres,  1'une  avec  des  vaisseaux  sur  les  banes 
de  terre  neuve  au  large  des  costes  de  Canada,  1'autre  a  terre  et  sur  les  bords  de  la  mer,  par 
la  premiere,  on  salle  dans  les  vaisseaux  les  molues  comme  on  les  tire  de  la  mer,  ce  qu'on 
appelle  les  poissons  verds  qui  n'est  autre  chose  que  la  molue  blanche  dont  il  se  fait  une  si 
grande  consommation  a  Paris  ;  par  la  Seconde,  on  fait  se"cher  les  molues  sur  les  cotes  de  la 
mer  apres  les  avoir  sallies,  et  c'est  ce  qu'on  appelle  le  poisson  sec  ou  vulgairement  merluche, 
qui  se  debite  par  tout  le  monde  et  dont  on  ne  fait  presqu'aucun  usage  a  Paris,  faute  d'en 
connoitre  le  m£rite. 

Tous  ceux  qui  ont  e"crit  des  peches  se"dentaires,  ou  qui  ont  travaille"  a  les  e"tablir  jusques 
a  present  n'ont  pens£  qu'a  la  pe'che  seche,  on  se  propose  de  faire  voir  icy  qu'on  en  peut 
faire  de  mesme  de  la  pesche  verte,  pourvu  qu'on  en  fixe  1'e'tablissement  dans  1'Isle  du  Cap 
Breton,  la  preference  luy  en  doit  appartenir  par  le  droit  de  sa  situation  elle  est  comme  assise 
au  milieu  des  mers  les  plus  poissonneuses,  et  dans  le  centre  de  tous  les  banes,  sur  lesquels 
les  vaisseaux  de  France  ont  accoutum6  de  faire  la  pesche,  par  consequent  Ton  y  peut  faire 
1'une  et  1'autre  pesche  et  les  rendre  1'une  et  1'autre  s£dentaires  dans  cette  Isle. 

L'exp£rience  en  decide,  de  terns  immemorial,  les  vaisseaux  ont  fait  la  pesche  seche  sur 
les  cotes  du  Cap  Breton,  le  Forillon,  1'Isle  plate,  1'Indiane,  Niganiche,  Achpe"  Le  Chadie, 
carceaux,  le  Havre  a  1'Anglois  et  la  Balaine  qui  en  dependent,  ne  sont  jamais  sans  vaisseaux 
en  temps  de  paix  ils  y  font  ordinairement  leur  pesche  complette,  a  moins  de  quelqu'ac- 
cident,  c'est  une  marque  certaine  que  la  morue  y  est  abondante,  mais  ce  n'est  pas  a  dire 
pour  cela  qu'il  n'y  en  ayt  prdcis£ment  que  dans  ces  endroits  la  quand  on  les  d^signe  icy  en 
particulier  comme  des  lieux  de  pesche,  c'est  que  de  la  maniere  que  les  vaisseaux  ont  fait  la 
pesche  jusques  a  present,  ils  n'ont  pratiqu6  que  ces  endroits  la  que  parce  qu'ils  ne  trou- 
voient  pas  a  se  mettre  a  1'abry  ailleurs,  et  que  la  petitesse  de  leurs  chaloupes  de  pesche  ne 


permettoit  pas  aux  pescheurs  dc  s'en  iloigner  beaucoup,  pour  chercher  la  molue  ailleurs 
ainsi  on  a  par!6  a  cet  6gard  commc  s'il  n'y  en  avoit  cu  qu'au  Forillon,  a  Niganiche,  au 
Havre  a  1'anglois,  et  coetera,  et  point  du  tout  ailleurs  ;  mais  ce  seroit  une  erreur  de  le  penser 
ainsi,  la  molue  cst  aussy  abondante  par  tout  le  restc  dcs  costes  de  1'Isle  que  dans  ces  endroits 
fr£qucntcz,  on  en  trouve  Igalcmcnt  partout  ailleurs. 

Ainsy  des  que  la  pesche  sera  devcnue  sc\lentaire,  et  qu'elle  ne  se  fera  plus  que  par  les 
habitans  de  1'Islc,  il  nc  sera  plus  question  dc  s'assujcttir  aux  endroits  ou  les  vaisseaux  peuvent 
sculement  sc  mettre  a  1'abry,  pendant  le  temps  de  la  pesche  les  habitans  pouvant  pecher 
indirtcremmcnt  sur  toutes  les  costes,  les  couvriront  de  leurs  chaloupes,  et  feront  deux  fois 
plus  dc  poisson  que  celles  de  France  par  ccttc  raison,  et  parce  quY-tant  sur  les  lieux  ils 
commenccront  plustost  ct  finiront  la  pesche  plus  tard,  si  les  chaloupes  ordinaires  ne  leur 
suffisent  pas  ils  auront  des  barques  de  toutes  grandeurs  avec  lesquclles  ils  iront  au  large  sur 
les  banes  poissonneuses  ou  ils  trouveront  toujours  a  charger  ;  les  vaisseaux  de  France  ne 
peuvent  pas  faire  la  mesme  chose  faute  de  barques  qu'ils  ne  peuvent  pas  aporter  aussi 
facilement  que  de  petites  chaloupcs. 

Et  c'cst  par  le  moyen  de  ces  barques  que  Ton  se  propose  de  faire  voir  icy  que  la  pesche 
vert  peut  devenir  s£dentaire  aussi  bien  que  la  sesche,  c'est  un  fait  constant  que  la  plus  part 
des  vaisseaux  de  France  viennent  faire  la  pesche  verte  sur  le  bane  a  verd,  sur  le  bane  de 
Saint  Pierre,  sur  ceux  de  1'Isle  de  Sable  ct  mcme  jusque  dans  le  golfe  de  Canada.  C'est  un 
autre  fait,  encore  plus  constant,  que  tous  ces  banes  sont  a  portee  de  1'Isle  du  Cap  Breton  et 
qu'elle  en  est  environnde,  il  seroit  done  par  consequent  plus  facile  aux  habitans  de  1'Isle  qui 
seroient  sur  les  lieux  de  faire  cette  pesche  avec  leurs  barques,  qu'aux  vaisseaux  de  France 
qui  ont  huit  cent  lieues,  et  de  grands  frais  a  faire,  et  de  grands  risques  a  courir  pour  s'y 
rend  re. 

On  peut  dire  de  mesme  de  la  pesche  verte  du  grand  Bane,  les  habitans  du  Cap  Breton 
qui  n'en  seroient  qu'a  quatre  vingt  lieues,  la  pourroient  faire  avec  plus  de  facilitd  que  les 
vaisseaux  de  France  qui  font  sept  cent  lieues  et  de  grands  frais  pour  s'y  rendre,  ces  vaisseaux 
qui  peschent  au  large  et  hors  de  la  vue  de  la  terre,  sont  obligez  de  sailer  la  molue  telle  que 
les  pescheurs  la  tirent  de  la  mer,  ils  en  peschent  de  quatre  sortes,  de  grandes,  de  moyennes, 
de  petites,  et  de  plus  petites  qu'ils  appellent  "  Raquet,"  sur  ce  pied  la  lorsqu'ils  retournent 
en  France,  ils  emportent  de  quatre  sortes  de  poissons,  qui  ont  chacun  leur  prix  a  la  vente, 
outre  que  c'est  un  embaras  que  de  concilier  ces  diffeients  prix,  il  arrive  souvent  que  se 
trouvant  plus  de  petit  et  de  raquet,  que  de  grand  et  de  moyen,  celuy  des  deux  premieres 
qualitez  ne  se  vend  pas  avantageusement. 

II  n'en  seroit  pas  de  mesme,  si  la  pesche  verte  6toit  sldentaire,  quoy  que  les  habitans 
du  Cap  Breton  fussent  obligez  de  sailer  dans  leurs  barques  toutes  les  molues  telles  qu'ils  les 
tireroient  dc  la  mer,  ainsi  que  les  pescheurs  de  France,  ils  seroient  n£anmoins  les  maitres 
d'en  faire  le  tirage  dans  leurs  barques  me'mes,  dc  n'habiller  au  verd  que  le  grand  et  le  moyen 
poisson,  et  de  r^server  tout  I'infcYieur  pour  mettre  au  sel,  par  ce  moyen  les  cargaisons  de 
poisson  verd  seroient  uniformes,  les  ventes  en  seroient  plus  faciles  et  plus  avantageuses,  et  la 
qualit6  du  poisson  beaucoup  meilleure. 

La  pesche  seche  y  trouveroit  aussi  son  avantage,  comme  il  n'y  a  que  le  moyen  et  le 
petit  poisson  qui  puisse  s£cher,  il  arrive  souvent  qu'on  pesche  autant  de  grandes  molues  que 
de  petits,  on  a  regret  de  jetter  les  grandes  a  la  mer,  on  risque  de  les  faire  s£cher,  on  con- 
somme beaucoup  de  sel  a  les  sailer,  parceque  ctant  fort  epoisses  elles  pourriroient  si  on  y 


6pargnoit  le  sel,  la  moindre  pluye,  le  moindre  brouillard  y  met  la  corruption  et  1'on  est 
oblig6  de  les  jetter  apres  avoir  perdu  beaucoup  de  sel  et  de  terns  a  les  soigner,  cela  n'ar- 
riveroit  plus  si  la  pesche  verte  6toit  s£dentaire,  on  ne  risqueroit  plus  de  faire  s£cher  le  grand 
poisson,  on  le  salleroit  au  verd  et  rien  ne  seroit  perdu. 

On  en  a  un  exemple  dans  la  pesche  qui  se  fait  a  1'Isle  Perc£e  a  1'embrochure  du  fleuve 
de  Saint  Laurens,  il  y  vient  ordinairement  sept  ou  huit  vaisseaux  en  temps  de  paix,  il  y  a  des 
Basques  et  des  Normands,  les  Normands  ne  veullent  point  de  poisson  sec,  les  Basques  n'en 
veullent  point  de  verd,  ils  s'accommodent  ensemble,  les  Normands  prennent  le  grand  poisson 
des  Basques,  et  les  Basques  recoivent  des  Normands  deux  petites  molues  pour  une  grande, 
ainsi  toute  le  monde  est  content  et  cela  d^truit  en  me'me  temps  1'opinion  de  quelques 
particuliers  qui  pr^tendent  que  le  grand  poisson  qui  se  pesche  sur  les  cotes  n'est  pas  aussi 
bon  que  celuy  du  grand  Bane,  si  cela  estoit,  les  Normands  qui  scavent  leurs  intents  et  qui 
n'aportent  ce  poisson  verd  au  havre  que  pour  Paris,  ne  se  chargeroient  pas  d'une  marchandise 
dont  ils  ne  trouveroient  pas  le  d£bit,  si  done  les  grandes  molues  de  1'Isle  Percee  sont  bonnes 
a  mettre  au  verd,  a  plus  forte  raison  celles  qui  se  peschent  dans  toute  le  golfe  de  Canada,  sur- 
tout  autour  des  Isles  de  la  Madelaine  et  de  Brion,  ou  elles  sont  commun6ment  d'une  grandeur 
prodigieuse,  fort  grasse  et  d'une  meilleure  qualit£. 

En  rendant  ainsy  sedentaire  la  pesche  du  poisson  verd  et  celle  du  poisson  sec,  il  n'y 
aurait  plus  a  1'avenir  que  de  grandes  moliles  vertes  et  par  consequent  de  la  meilleure  qualit6, 
tout  le  poisson  seroit  pareillement  de  la  qualit£  propre  pour  les  diff<£rents  pays  ou  le  commerce 
s'en  fait,  on  en  feroit  le  tirage  au  Cap  Breton,  1'on  y  tiendroit  des  magazins  assortis  de  chaque 
qualite  ou  les  vaisseaux  trouveroient  leurs  charges  de  grandes  molues  vertes  pour  France,  de 
petit  poisson  sec  pour  Marseille  et  pour  le  Levant,  de  grand  poisson  sec  pour  1'Espagne  et  le 
Portugal,  et  de  moyen  poisson  sec  pour  le  Royaume,  au  lieu  que  jusques  a  present,  ces 
vaisseaux  ont  £t£  obligez  de  n'emporter  que  ce  qu'ils  peschoient,  et  comme  ils  le  peschoient. 

On  jugera  par  ce  detail  de  l'£tendue  des  productions  exteYieures  de  1'Isle  du  Cap  Breton, 
quoy  qu'elles  ne  soient  que  d'une  espece,  on  peut  dire  sans  exageVation  qu'on  en  pourroit 
faire  avec  le  temps  un  commerce  de  plus  de  deux  vaisseaux  tous  les  ans,  qui  tiendroient  en 
mouvement  tous  les  peuples  de  cette  Isle,  et  leur  donneroient  les  moyens  de  subsister  ais6- 
ment  de  leur  travail,  joint  aux  productions  de  leurs  terres,  il  s'agit  a  1'heure  qu'il  est  de 
trouver  dans  cette  grande  Isle  un  endroit  capable  de  recevoir  un  Etablissement  de  cette 
importance  et  dont  on  en  puisse  faire  le  chef  lieu,  apres  quoy  on  fera  voir  les  avantages  que 
le  Roy,  1'Etat  et  le  commerce  en  pourront  retirer.  .  .  . 


II  y  a  deux  raisons  principalles  de  l'6tablir  dans  la  Baye  aux  Espagnols. 

Premierement  : 
La  bont6  de  son  Port  et  de  ses  Rades  j 

Secondement : 

Les  communications  qu'elle  a  avec  tous  les  autres  ports  de  1'Isle  et  meme  avec  1'Acadie  par 
le  Labrador. 

On  voit  par  le  plan  que  le  Pilote  Jean  Albert  en  a  lev£  en  1692,  et  par  la  description 


qu'il  en  donnc  dans  son  Journal  qu'il  cst  difficile  de  trouver  un  endroit  plus  commode  et 
plus  avantageux  pour  le  commerce,  le  Sieur  de  Montagu,  Capitaine  de  frigate  dit  dans  son 
journal  de  la  m£me  ann£e  qu'il  a  sonde  toute  cette  Baye  et  quc  c'est  un  des  plus  beaux  ports 
qu'on  s^auroit  voir,  la  description  qu'on  en  a  desja  donn^e  en  marque  asses  tous  les  avantages 
pour  qu'on  puisse  convenir  quc  cet  endroit  mcVitc  la  preference  de  cet  Etablissement. 

On  peut  entrer  ct  mouillcr  dans  ses  raJes  la  nuit  commc  le  jour,  on  en  peut  sortir  de 
memc,  on  est  a  couvcrt  dans  son  port  des  plus  mauvais  terns  et  des  ennemis,  il  y  a  partout 
six,  sept,  huit  ct  neuf  brasses  d'eau  dans  ses  rades,  dans  son  port,  et  meme  jusquc  tout  aupres 
de  terrc,  les  fonds  sont  de  sable  vazcux,  il  n'y  a  aucuns  roshers  qui  puissent  endomager  les 
cAbles  ct  les  anchrcs,  les  vaisseaux  pcuvent  charger  commode'ment  partout,  on  pourroit  batir 
la  ville  principallc  cntre  les  deux  bras  qui  partagent  la  Baye  a  une  lieue  de  son  entree  ;  la 
situation  en  seroit  avantageuse  et  magnifique,  il  ne  seroit  n^cessaire  de  la  fortifier  que  du 
cost6  dc  la  terre,  on  peut  a  peu  de  frais  la  mettre  en  deffense  contre  tous  les  efforts  des 
ennemis,  on  pourroit  encore  la  placer  avec  les  me'mes  avantages  entre  la  Riviere  aux  cerfs 
et  le  bras  gauche  de  cette  Baye,  la  longue  digue  qui  paroit  dans  le  plan  en  fait  un  port  tres 
spacicux,  tres  assure  et  tres  commode,  c'est  sur  quoy  il  seroit  difficile  de  se  determiner  sans 
£tre  sur  les  licux. 

Cette  ville  deviendroit  en  peu  de  terns  considerable  et  d'une  grande  etendue,  les 
magazins  seuls  pour  recevoir  les  poissons,  les  productions  du  pays,  les  sels,  les  appareaux  de 
pesche,  aussi  bien  que  les  marchandises  de  France,  de  Quebec  et  d'ailleurs,  occuperoient 
beaucoup  de  terrain,  1'abord  d'un  grand  nombre  de  vaisseaux,  le  mouvement  continuel  d'une 
infinite  de  barques  et  de  chaloupes  y  atireroient  beaucoup  de  marchands  et  d'artisans,  la 
campagne  surtout  des  environs  se  peupleroit  de  bourgs  et  de  villages,  on  cultiveroit  la  terre 
avec  d'autant  plus  de  soin  que  les  grains  et  les  denies  y  trouveroient  un  prompt  debit  par  la 
consommation  qui  s'en  feroit  dans  le  lieu  meme  et  par  le  transport  qui  s'en  feroit  au  dehors, 
on  n'y  verroit  ny  pauvres,  ny  faineans,  on  y  trouveroit  toujours  de  1'occupation,  jusqu'aux 
femmes  et  aux  enfans  qui  y  seroient  employez  a  lavcr,  a  tourner,  a  porter  et  a  pr6parer  le 
poisson  sur  la  grave  et  sur  les  vignaux,  tout  le  peuple  seroit  pescheur,  ou  laboureur,  ou  artisan, 
les  bourgeois  et  les  marchands  seroient  occupez  de  leur  commerce,  les  communications  que 
cet  endroit  a  d'ailleurs  par  terre  avec  les  autres  ports  de  1'Isle  et  mesme  avec  1'Acadie  par  le 
Labrador,  seroient  seules  un  motif  de  luy  donner  la  preference  de  1'Etablissement  principal, 
dont  il  s'agit  de  faire  voir  les  avantages  dans  les  articles  suivans. 


II  rend  le  commerce  des  pesches  certain  de  casuel  qu'il  a  toujours  etd  jusques  a  present. 


II  reunit  tout  ce  commerce  dans  la  seule  main  des  Francois  a  1'exclusion  des  Anglois 
qui  1'usurpent  depuis  longtemps. 


II   devient   le  Boulvard  et  le  magazin   des  colonies    de   Canada,    de   1'Acadie   et   de 


II  sera  1'entrepost  et  le  refuge  des  vaisseaux  qui  reviennent  des  grandes  Indes,  des 
Indes  Espagnoles,  des  Isles  de  I'AmeVique  et  de  tous  ceux  qui  fre'quentent  les  mers 
de  Canada. 

En  parlant  avec  ordre  de  ces  quatre  avantages  principaux,  on  en  d£couvrira  une 
infinite  d'autres  particulieres  qui  font  d'autant  mieux  juger  du  me'rite  de  cet  Etablissement. 

Premier  Avantage. 

De  la  maniere  que  Ton  a  fait  la  pesche  du  poisson  sec  jusques  a  present,  on  a  £te" 
oblig6  de  faire  partir  les  vaisseaux  de  France  des  le  mois  de  Mars,  pour  arriver  aux  cotes 
de  Canada  dans  la  saison  que  la  moliie  commence  a  s'en  aprocher,  les  mers  sont  rudes 
et  les  vents  violens  dans  les  mois  de  Mars  et  d'Avril  a  cause  de  1'Equinoxe,  souvent  ils 
sont  contraires  pour  sortir  jusques  bien  avant  dans  le  mois  de  May,  quand  ces  vaisseaux 
partent  trop  tard,  ils  n'ont  pas  le  temps  de  faire  leur  pesche  quand  ils  partent  ass6s  tost, 
ils  trouvent  des  tourments  a  la  mer,  ils  demdtent,  ils  perdent  une  partie  de  leurs  sels 
et  de  leurs  vivres,  ils  rel&chent,  la  defense  de  leur  £quipement  est  perdue  pour  les  marchands 
ou  pour  les  assureurs. 

Les  vaisseaux  qui  partent  pour  le  poisson  verd,  n'ont  pas  a  la  veVite"  les  me"mes  risques 
a  courir,  parce  qu'ils  peuvent  sortir  dans  la  belle  saison,  mais  ils  ont  a  essuyer  sur  le  grand 
Bane  les  coups  de  vent  les  plus  violents  qui  les  empeschent  de  pescher,  qui  souvent  les 
obligent  de  d^barquer,  et  quelque  fois  de  rel&cher  en  France  en  quelque  £tat  que  soit 
leur  pesche. 

Suposans  les  uns  et  les  autres  de  ces  vaisseaux  heureusement  arrivez  au  lieu  de  leur 
destination,  si  le  poisson  n'est  pas  abondant,  si  les  grands  vents  les  empeschent  de  pescher, 
si  les  pluyes  empeschent  de  s£cher  le  poisson,  s'ils  perdent  leurs  chaloupes  par  quelque 
tempeste,  comme  il  arrive  ass£s  souvent,  s'ils  manquent  de  vivres,  s'ils  sont  jettez  a  la 
coste  par  le  mauvais  temps  ou  incommaudez  sur  le  grand  Bane,  on  peut  compter  que 
dans  les  uns  ou  les  autres  de  ces  cas,  leur  pesche  est  notablement  interrompue,  si  celle 
n'est  pas  tout  a  fait  perdue. 

En  quelque  saison  que  ces  vaisseaux  partent  pour  la  pesche,  ils  ont  une  longue  et 
rude  traversed  a  faire  avant  que  d'arriver  aux  cotes  de  Canada  ou  sur  le  grand  Bane, 
personne  n'ignore  que  les  vents  sont  presque  toujours  contraires  pour  ces  voyages,  les 
vaisseaux  qui  font  le  poisson  sec  demeurent  pres  de  quatre  mois  a  la  coste  et  ne  mettent 
guere  moins  de  huit  mois  a  tout  leur  voyage  ;  ceux  qui  font  le  poisson  verd  ne  sont  pas 
si  longtemps  dehors,  mais  ils  sont  toujours  exposez,  ainsi  ces  voyages  qui  sont  toujours 
longs  coutent  beaucoup  aux  marchands,  qui  souvent  sont  trop  heureux  de  retirer  une 
partie  de  leurs  avances,  bien  loin  d'y  trouver  du  profit. 

On  n'obtient  que  rarement  pendant  la  guerre  des  Equipages  pour  la  pesche,  les 
vaisseaux  des  particuliers  auxquels  on  en  accorde  sont  en  proye  aux  Corsaires  Anglois 
de  Boston,  aussy  bien  sur  le  grand  Bane  que  sur  les  cotes  de  Canada,  tous  les  vaisseaux 
pris  a  1'Isle  Perc£e,  a  Bonnaventure,  a  Gaspd,  au  Cap  Breton  et  sur  le  grand  Bane  pendant 
la  derniere  guerre,  ne  le  prouve  que  trop,  mais  quand  le  peu  de  vaisseaux  qui  sortent  pendant 
la  guerre  pour  la  p£che  des  moliies  reviendroit  a  bon  port,  ce  poisson  estant  rare  est  toujours 


si  chcr  dans  le  Royaume,  qu'on  n'en  scauroit  trouver  la  consommation  entiere,  sans  £tre 
a  charge  au  public. 

Tous  ces  inconvc'niens  ccsseroit  si  les  pesches  devenoient  sidentaires,  ce  commerce 
scroit  aussy  florissant  en  temps  de  guerre  que  pendant  la  paix,  les  marchands  n'en  feroient  [sic] 
plus  les  avanccs,  il  n'y  auroit  presque  plus  de  risques  a  le  faire,  les  vaisseaux  ne  partiroient 
plus  a  1'equinoxe  de  Mars,  assurcz  de  trouver  a  rEtablissement  la  pesche  toute  faite  par 
les  habitans,  ils  ne  mettoient  plus  a  la  mer  qu'en  May,  Juin  et  Juillet  dans  une  saison 
si  belle,  ils  ne  risqueroient  plus  dc  perdre  leurs  sels,  leurs  vivres,  leurs  marchandises,  ny 
de  relacher  ;  leur  navigation  seroit  heureuse,  ils  ne  prendroient  que  des  Equipages  ordinaires, 
et  des  vivres  qu'autant  qu'il  leur  en  faudroit  pour  se  rendre  a  1'Etablissement,  ils  ne  feroient 
plus  la  dc-pense  d'embarquer  les  chaloupes  ny  les  autres  appareaux  de  pesche,  ils  chargeroient 
cnticrcmcnt  de  marchandises  et  de  choses  a  la  ve>it£  n£cessaires  a  la  pesche,  mais  ce  ne 
seroit  plus  pour  la  consommer  par  eux-mtlmes  en  faisant  la  pesche  comme  autrefois,  ce 
seroit  un  pur  commerce,  et  pour  revendre  aux  marchands  de  1'Etablissement  qui  les 
payeroient  en  poisson  tout  fait  et  en  d'autres  effets  ;  ils  passeroient  en  quarante  jours  de 
France  a  Pctablissement,  ils  n'y  scjourneroient  qu'autant  qu'il  seroit  nccessaire  pour 
decharger  et  recharger,  ils  repasseroient  en  France  en  vingt  jours  et  pourroient  faire 
tout  le  voyage  en  trois  mois,  ils  pourroient  en  faire  deux  par  an  ;  ceux  qu'on  destineroit 
pour  les  Isles  de  1'AmeVique,  pour  le  Mexique,  pour  1'Espagne,  le  Portugal,  la  M^diterrance 
ou  pour  le  Levant  feroient  trois  fois  leur  fret  dans  la  me'me  annee  de  France  a  1'Etablisse- 
ment, de  la  dans  les  pays  Etranges,  et  des  pays  Strangers  en  France,  ils  prendroient  des 
vivres  a  1'Etablissement  pour  leur  retour,  en  quelqu'endroit  qu'ils  le  fissent,  ils  y  trouveroient 
des  mats,  des  vergues,  et  d'autres  pieces  s'ils  en  avoient  besoin,  ils  pourroient  mesme  s'en 
garnir  entierement  sans  autre  depense  que  de  les  couper  quelque  difficult^  qu'il  y  eust 
d'obtenir  des  Equipages  en  este,  pendant  la  guerre  ils  en  auroient  au  pis  aller  vers  la  fin 
d'aoust  que  les  vaisseaux  du  Roy  ont  continu£  de  dcsarmer,  alors  ils  partiroient  en  flotte 
sous  1'escorte  de  deux  ou  trois  frigates  de  Sa  Majest£  qui  les  conduiroient  a  1'Etablissement 
et  les  rameneroient  en  France,  par  la  le  commerce  de  la  pesche  ne  seroit  jamais  interrompu, 
parce  qu'il  sc  feroit  par  les  habitans  du  lieu,  qui  comptans  sur  1'arrivee  de  la  flotte 
prcpareroient  le  poisson  en  1'attendant.  Sa  Majest£  en  recevroit  toujours  les  droits  et 
la  molue  seroit  a  bon  march£  dans  le  Royaume  en  guerre  comme  en  paix. 

Deuxleme  AV  ant  age. 

La  pesche  s£dentaire  que  les  Anglois  ont  e"tablis  a  la  coste  de  1'Est  de  1'Isle  de  Terre 
Neuve  depuis  quarante  ans  est  une  usurpation  formelle  de  leur  part,  cette  Isle  apartient 
sans  contredit  a  Sa  Majestc-  suivant  le  partage  de  I'Amerique  Septentrionale  entre  la 
France  et  1'Angleterre,  le  peu  d'attention  qu'on  a  cue  pour  une  affaire  de  cette  consequence 
a  donn£  lieu  a  la  possession  que  les  Anglois  en  ont  prise,  il  paroit  par  de  bons  me'moires 
qu'ils  y  chargent  tous  les  ans  plus  de  cent  vaisseaux  de  poisson  sec. 

La  pesche  qu'ils  font  encore  avec  les  barques  de  la  cote  de  Baston  sur  celles  de 
1'Acadie  est  une  autre  usurpation,  ils  n'en  pcuvent  pas  contester  la  propri£t£  a  la  France 
puis  qu'ils  1'ont  rendue  plusieurs  fois  par  des  traitez  de  paix,  mais  quoy  qu'ils  n'y  trafiquent 
plus  avec  les  habitans,  ils  ne  discontinuent  pas  pour  ccla  d'y  faire  la  pesche  des  moiues  qu'ils 
portent  s£cher  sur  leurs  costes,  le  peu  d'oposition  qu'ils  y  trouvent  de  la  part  des  Franfois 


n'est  pas  capable  de  les  en  empe'cher,  ils  font  encore  par  cette  pesche  au  moins  la  charge  de 
cent  vaisseaux  de  poisson  sec  tous  les  ans. 

Comme  les  Anglois  ne  consomment  presque  point  de  poisson  sec  en  Europe,  ils  le 
portent  en  Espagne,  en  Portugal  et  jusques  dans  le  Levant  ou  ils  le  vendent  en  concurrence 
avec  les  Francois  qui  devroient  estre  seuls  maitres  de  ce  commerce. 

II  n'y  a  que  1'Etablissement  propose  qui  puisse  en  donner  1'exclusion  aux  Anglois, 
s'ils  trouvent  la  cote  de  1'Acadie  occup£e  par  les  Barques  et  les  chaloupes  des  habitans  du 
Cap  Breton  on  peut  compter  que  d'eux-me'mes  ils  ne  s'y  pr6senteroient  plus,  ainsy  meme 
en  pleine  paix,  sans  recommencer  la  guerre,  sans  effusion  de  sang,  sans  aucune  defense,  Sa 
Majeste  n'usant  que  de  son  droit,  peut  oster  pour  jamais  aux  Anglois  un  commerce  usurp£ 
qui  a  forme  et  qui  soutient  encore  aujourd'huy  leur  Colonie  de  Baston,  ainsy  qu'ils  en 
conviennent  eux-memes. 

II  ne  seroit  pas  si  facile  de  leur  oter  celuy  de  la  cote  de  Terre  Neuve,  comme  les 
Anglois  en  ont  pris  une  espece  de  possession,  il  semble  qu'on  ne  pourroit  les  en  chasser 
qu'en  terns  de  guerre,  mais  pour  lors  la  chose  seroit  fort  ais6,  si  quelques  Canadiens  venus  de 
Quebec  a  Plaisance,  ou  il  y  a  plus  de  deux  cens  lieues  par  mer,  ont  ruin£  ces  dernieres 
ann^es  toute  la  c6te  angloise,  fait  le  d£gat  de  leur  sel,  bruli  leurs  chaloupes,  et  leurs 
maisons,  les  habitans  du  Cap  Breton  qui  seroient  en  bien  plus  grand  nombre,  qui  auroient 
un  interest  particulier  de  d^truire  cette  cote,  et  qui  n'auroient  que  trente  ou  trente-cinq 
lieues  de  mer  a  traverser  pour  se  rendre  a  Plaisance,  seroient  en  6tat  de  les  harceler  si 
souvent  qu'ils  les  forceroient  enfin  d'abandonner  pour  jamais  un  pays  sterile  qui  ne  produit 
rien  et  qu'ils  n'occupent  que  par  raport  a  la  pesche  qui  y  est  tres  abondante. 

Suposant  done  les  Anglois  exclus  de  ces  pe'ches,  comme  cela  seroit  sans  doute  lorsque 
1'Etablissement  du  Cap  Breton  seroit  forme,  ce  commerce  doubleroit  chaque  ann£e  en 
faveur  de  la  France  aussi  bien  que  les  droits  des  fermes  de  Sa  Majeste,  la  chose  parle 

Troisilmt  ^vantage. 

Si  1'on  considere  avec  attention  la  progression  des  Anglois  dans  leurs  Colonies  de  la 
Nouvelle  Angleterre,  on  aura  lieu  de  trembler  pour  celle  de  Canada,  il  n'y  a  point  d'annee 
qu'il  ne  naisse  parmy  eux  autant  d'enfans  qu'il  y  a  d'hommes  dans  tout  le  Canada,  en  peu 
d'annees  ce  peuple  sera  dangereux  et  redoutable,  et  le  Canada  ne  sera  gueres  plus  peupie 
qu'il  n'est  aujourd'huy,  soit  douceur  de  climat  qui  favorise  la  culture  de  leurs  terres,  la 
progression  de  leurs  bestiaux,  et  qui  leur  permet  de  naviguer  en  tout  terns,  soit  Industrie 
particuliere,  il  est  certain  que  leurs  colonies  sont  etablies  de  ce  cote-la  comme  1'Angleterre 

II  est  encore  terns  de  preVoir  et  de  preVenir  les  suites  inevitables  de  cette  superiority 
des  Anglois,  on  ne  doit  pas  douter  qu'elle  ne  leur  inspire  enfin  quelque  jour,  le  dessein  de 
se  rendre  maitres  du  Canada  et  par  la  de  toute  1'AmeVique  septentrionale,  quoy  que  le 
Canada  ne  paroisse  pas  fort  important  a  ceux  qui  ne  le  connoissent  pas  a  fond,  il  est  certain 
neantmoins  que  la  France  perdroit  avec  ce  pays-la  le  commerce  des  castors  qui  ne  laisse  pas 
d'etre  n£cessaire  et  considerable  par  sa  circulation  celuy  des  originaux  et  des  pelleteries  qui 
se  debitent  dans  le  Royaume  et  chez  les  Etrangers  et  de  quelques  autres  effets  qu'on  en 
pourroit  tirer,  mais  on  doit  adjouter  a  cela  qu'il  est  de  la  gloire  et  de  la  pi£t£  du  Roy  de  ne 
pas  laisser  tomber  un  si  grands  pays  entre  les  mains  d'une  nation  heVetique,  jealous  du 


commerce  des  Franfois  ct  qui  commenceroit  a  £touffer  dans  les  coeurs  dc  ses  sujets  et  des 
sauvagcs  les  scmences  de  la  Religion. 

En  perdant  le  Canada  la  France  perdroit  encore  les  pcsches  des  moltles,  les  Anglois 
pour  s'en  assurer  se  fortifieroient  dans  tous  les  endroits  avantageux,  ils  couvriroient  ces  mers 
ct  le  grand  Bane  de  leurs  vaisseaux,  la  navigation  en  seroit  ferm£c  aux  Francois,  les  matelots 
diminueroient  de  la  moitid  dans  le  Royaume,  on  seroit  oblig£  de  racheter  la  molde  des 
Anglois,  les  Francois  perdroient  la  consommation  des  sels  et  des  efFets  propres  a  la  pesche,  et 
Sa  Majcstd  les  droits  que  luy  ajx>rtoit  un  si  grand  commerce,  le  mal  seroit  trop  grand  pour 
quc  Sa  Majest£  le  put  soufFrir,  et  ce  ne  pourroit  £tre  quc  par  des  defenses  prodigieuses  et 
par  la  guerre  ouverte  qu'on  pourroit  rentrer  dans  la  possession  de  ce  qu'il  est  ais£  de  ne  pas 
pcrdrc  en  occupant  le  Cap  Breton. 

Cette  Isle  cst  le  clef  du  Canada  et  de  toutes  les  cotes  de  la  Nouvelle  France,  en  la 
fortifiant  les  Anglois  ne  pourront  plus  rien  entreprendre  de  ce  cot6-la,  ils  ne  s'aviseront 
jamais  d'cntrer  dans  le  profondeur  du  Golfe  de  Saint  Laurens  pour  monter  jusqu'a  Quebec, 
pendant  qu'ils  auront  derricre  eux  un  poste  de  cette  importance. 

L'Acadie  et  Plaisance  ne  seroient  pas  moins  en  surete  par  cet  Etablissement,  le  nombre 
et  la  valleur  de  ses  habitans,  leur  experience  au  fait  de  la  navigation  et  des  armes  dont  ils 
fcroient  un  exercise  continue),  les  mettroient  en  peu  de  terns  en  <hat  de  tout  entreprendre, 
de  faire  trembler  les  Anglois  jusques  dans  Baston,  et  de  d&oler  toutes  leurs  cotes  en  temps 
de  guerre. 

Le  Cap  Breton  seroit  encore  le  magasin  g6n6ral  de  tous  ces  pays,  les  habitans  y 
trouveroient  les  marchandises,  les  efFets  et  leurs  secours  dont  ils  auroient  besoin  en  dchange 
des  vivres,  des  denrees  et  des  autres  choses  qu'ils  y  apporteroient  de  Quebec  et  d'ailleurs. 


Tous  les  vaisseaux  qui  reviennent  des  Isles  de  1'Ame'rique,  du  Mexique,  du  PeYou,  de  la 
Mer  du  Sud  et  mesme  des  grandes  Indes  sont  obligez  par  la  disposition  des  vents  de  venir 
chercher  les  hauteurs  de  Canada,  et  de  passer  a  la  pointe  me>idionale  du  Grand  Bane  de 
Terre  Ncuve  pour  retourner  en  Europe  ;  il  arrive  assds  souvent  que  la  plus  part  de  ces 
vaisseaux  manquent  ou  de  vivres  ou  d'eau,  ou  de  bois,  qu'ils  sont  d£matez,  qu'ils  ont  des 
voyes  d'eau  ou  que  leurs  Equipages  sont  malades,  il  )  a  encore  pres  de  sept  cens  lieues  de  la 
en  France,  ou  ils  ne  sont  pas  en  estat  de  se  rendre  sans  estre  .  .  . 

Tous  les  vaisseaux  pescheurs  et  ceux  qui  passent  au  Cap  Breton  en  allant  a  Quebec 
s'y  refugieront  dans  la  n£cessit6  la  navigation  de  Canada  £tant  des  plus  rudes,  surtout  en 
revenant  de  Qud-bec  dans  1'arriere  saison,  les  Equipages  et  les  passagers  des  vaisseaux  qui 
auroient  le  malheur  de  faire  naufrage  dans  le  golfe  de  Canada  pourroient  trouver  leur 
salut  dans  cet  Etablissement.  .  .  . 

The  writer  then  takes  up  objections  to  his  project  and  concludes. 


L'Etablissement  propos£  re"unit  toutes  les  pesches  dans  la  main  des  Francois,  en  donne 
1'exclusion  absolue  aux  Anglois,  deffend  les  colonies  de  Canada,  de  Terre  Neuve  et  de  1'Acadie 
contre  tous  leurs  efforts,  empeschent  [sic]  qu'ils  ne  se  rendent  maitres  de  tous  ces  grands  pays, 
et  par  la  mesme  de  toutes  les  pesches,  il  ruine  leur  colonie  de  Baston  en  les  en  excluant  et 


sans  leur  faire  la  guerre,  il  est  le  refuge  des  vaisseaux  incommodez  qui  fr^quentent  ces 
mers,  ou  pour  la  pesche  ou  pour  les  voyages  de  Canada,  il  devient  le  rendez-vous  et 
1'entrepost  des  vaisseaux  des  Indes,  des  Isles  de  1'Ame'rique,  de  la  Nouvelle  Espagne,  il 
augmente  le  nombre  des  matelots,  il  facilite  le  commerce  de  Canada  et  favorise  le  d£bit 
de  ses  grains  et  de  ses  denr^es,  il  fournira  les  arceneaux  de  Sa  Majest6  de  mits,  de  vergues, 
de  bordages,  de  planches,  de  pieces  de  construction,  de  bray,  de  goldrons,  d'huiles  de 
poisson,  de  charbon  de  terre,  de  platre  et  mesme  de  molttes  pour  les  victuailles  des  Equipages, 
les  Strangers  qui  ont  accoutume  de  fournir  tous  ces  effets  n'emporteront  plus  1'argent 
du  Royaume,  il  augmente  la  domination  de  Sa  Majest6,  le  commerce  de  ses  sujets,  les 
droits  de  ses  fermes,  et  la  consommation  de  sels  et  des  denr£es  du  Royaume,  e'en  est  assez 
pour  faire  voir  que  cet  Etablissement  est  enfin  devenu  d'une  n£cessit6  indispensable, 
et  qu'il  est  terns  d'y  mettre  efficacement  la  main. 

II  ne  reste  plus  qu'a  donner  dans  un  m£moire  particulier  les  moyens  de  former  a  peu 
de  frais  un  Etablissement  de  cette  importance. — A  Paris  le  trentieme  Novembre  1706. 


Note. — This  document,  with  the  exception  of  some  changes  in  punctuation,  and  the 
correction  of  a  few  mistakes  obviously  those  of  a  copyist,  is  printed  verbatim.  The 
soundness  of  its  views  as  to  the  importance  of  Cape  Breton,  the  stability  of  New  England, 
the  previsions  of  danger  to  French  rule  from  its  people,  merit  the  attention  of  the  reader. 


THE  declaration  of  the  taking  possession  of  Isle  Royale  stated  that  the  selection 
of  Louisbourg  was  provisional.  The  reports  made  and  the  plans  submitted  in 
person  by  St.  Ovide  to  the  King  secured  his  approval,  which  was  transmitted  to 
L'Hermitte,  with  orders  to  place  the  fort  on  the  point  and  the  town  behind  it. 
This  led  to  complaints  from  the  latter  that  his  plans  had  been  modified  and  his 
views  inaccurately  stated  by  St.  Ovide. 

These  instructions  were  definite  ;  but  a  discussion  arose  at  once  as  to  which 
should  be  made  the  principal  place  of  the  three  settlements  which  were  thought 
of.  These  were  Louisbourg,  Port  Dauphin,  and  Port  Toulouse.  Each  of  them 
had  many  advantages,  which  were  dealt  with  in  many  letters  and  memorials. 
Costebelle  wrote  to  the  Minister  expressing  his  opinion,  that  great  attention 
should  be  given  to  Port  Toulouse,  without  claiming  that  it  should  be  the  seat  of 
government,  and  asked  a  hearing  for  Meschin,  Commander  of  the  Semslacky 
who  had  revisited  Louisbourg.  When  Meschin  sought  an  audience  with 
Pontchartrain  he  was  sent  on  by  him  to  Raudot  the  younger,  who  had  been 
promoted  from  Quebec  to  the  position  of  Intendant  des  Classes  (Service  Rolls). 
The  Minister  wrote  to  the  latter  that  he  would  discuss  the  matter  with  him  after 
his  interview  with  Meschin. 

Other  letters  also  were  sent  to  Pontchartrain.  Rouville  and  La  Ronde,  in 
thanking  him  for  their  appointments  on  this  pioneer  expedition,  gave  their  views 
on  the  three  ports.  The  latter  was  enthusiastic  over  Port  Dauphin,  where  they 
could  do  more  work  for  ten  thousand  livres  than  for  two  hundred  thousand  in 
Louisbourg.  Trees  twenty-eight  to  thirty-eight  inches  in  diameter  and  seventy 
feet  long  abound  ;  there  is  an  abundance  of  oak,  and  not  an  inch  of  ground  which 
is  not  fit  to  cultivate.  He  concluded  by  saying  that  New  England  is  not  worth 
one-tenth  part  of  Cape  Breton,  but  that  he  has  seen  with  his  own  eyes  how 
flourishing  is  the  British  colony,  where  every  year  they  build  fifteen  hundred 

Costebelle  repeated  his  first  impression  that  they  were  working  uselessly  at 

1   These  are  exaggerations  which  go  far  to  justify  L'Hcrmitte's  opinion  of  La  Ronde.      See  note,  p.  16. 



Louisbourg,  and  that  Vaudreuil,  St.  Ovide,  and  Soubras  agreed  with  him,  if  their 
thoughts  corresponded  to  their  language.  L'Hermitte  tried  to  confine  his 
expression  to  a  statement  of  the  advantages  of  the  different  places,  but  in  sending 
his  requisitions  for  material  and  men  he  added  an  estimate  that  it  would  take 
eight  to  ten  years  to  build  the  forts  at  Louisbourg  at  a  cost,  even  without  the 
artillery,  of  eight  or  nine  hundred  thousand  livres. 

Bourdon,  an  experienced  officer,  whose  map  of  Cape  Breton  was  being  used, 
was  sent  out  with  de  Saugeon,  the  officer  in  command  of  the  Affriquain^  who 
was  unfamiliar  with  these  waters.  Bourdon,  too,  submitted  a  memoir  on  this 
vexed  and  important  question.1  The  advantages  of  Louisbourg,  in  his  summing 
up  the  various  views,  were  the  ease  of  access,  the  excellent  fishing  close  at  hand, 
and,  while  the  beaches  were  less  in  extent  than  at  Port  Dauphin,  this  was 
compensated  for  by  the  excellent  sites  found  at  various  adjacent  outports.  The 
Port  Dauphin  beaches  were  less  useful,  as  they  were  shut  in  by  the  high  hills, 
the  name  of  which  has  descended  from  the  romance  of  Les  Quatres  Fils  d'Aymon 
to  Smith's  Mountain.  Port  Dauphin  was  more  easily  fortified,  the  land  was 
fertile,  but  the  fishing  grounds  were  several  leagues  from  the  port,  and  therefore 
required  larger  boats.  Port  Toulouse  was  not  then  seriously  considered,  nor  does 
the  name  of  Baie  des  Espagnols  often  appear,  notwithstanding  the  anonymous 
memoir  of  1706.  Its  wide  entrance  would  be  difficult  to  fortify,  and  it  was 
^istant  from  the  fishing  grounds.  Louisbourg,  moreover,  had  the  advantage  of 
not  freezing  over,  and  of  being  Jess  incommoded  by  the  drift  ice  in  the  spring, 
although  this  was  not  dwelt  on  and  was  perhaps  unknown  to  the  pioneers. 
Bourdon  points  out  in  his  memoir  that  the  fisheries  are  the  sole  object  of  care, 
that  the  only  grain  they  need  to  grow  is  for  poultry  and  fodder,  as  their 
requirements  of  wheat  would  make  a  commerce  with  Canada.  He  thus  disposes 
of  the  agricultural  superiority  of  Port  Dauphin,  enforcing  this  view  by  the  fact 
that  the  Acadians  would  not  go  there,  as  they  were  seeking  for  meadows.  He 
also  takes  up  various  questions  as  to  the  forts  ;  says  that  L'Hermitte's  are  too 
costly,  and  proposes  in  their  stead  two  fortifications,  one  on  the  island  and  one 
on  the  point,  which,  giving  protection  against  a  sudden  attack,  would,  as  peace 
is  likely  to  last,  be  all  that  is  required.  He  concludes  that,  for  ease  of  living, 
every  one  would  prefer  Port  Dauphin,  but,  for  public  interest,  Louisbourg  is 
comparably  better.  The  weight  'of  local  authority  was  against  him.  It  was 
supported  by  the  merchants  of  France,  while  the  Court  was  dismayed  at  the 
amount  of  money  which  Louisbourg  would  require. 

Instructions  were  sent  out -to  Costebelle  and  Soubras  that  Port  Dauphin 
should  be  made  the  principal  place  ;  that  they,  the  staff,  and  the  larger  part  of 
the  garrison,  four  companies,  should  be  established  in  that  place  ;  that  St.  Ovide 

1  C11  I.R.  vol.  i,  p.  in. 


should  command  at  Louisbourg  with  two  companies,  and  De  Pensens,  aide- 
major,  should  go  to  Port  Toulouse.  These  instructions  arrived  in  due  course, 
hut  Costebelle,  advised  by  a  private  letter  of  the  decisions  before  they  came  to 
hand,  had  already  taken  action.  In  June  he  sent  L'Hermitte  to  lay  out 
the  work  at  Port  Dauphin.  Rouville  also  went  there,  and  again  merited  the 
praises  of  his  superiors,  by  doing  with  his  sixty  men  effective  work  in  building 
a  storehouse,  bakehouse,  and  forge.  In  September  they  were  engaged  on  the 
barracks,  which  were  substantial,  as  it  was  proposed  that  they  should  serve 
afterwards  as  an  hospital,  and  Costebelle,  who  was  on  the  ground,  hoped  that 
these  would  be  finished  before  winter. 

Port  Toulouse,  preferred  by  the  Acadians,  was  allotted  a  garrison  of  forty 
men  under  De  Pensens,  and  a  small  fort  for  the  purpose  of  giving  confidence  to 
the  new  settlers  was  laid  out  by  Couagne.  The  value  of  this  place  had  been 
considered  small  on  account  of  the  shallow  entrance  of  its  harbour,  but 
soundings  proved  that  there  were  three  channels  with  deep  water — two  of 
four  and  a  half,  and  one  of  three  fathoms.  Meschin  and  his  pilot  went  with 
Costebelle  from  Port  Dauphin  to  Port  Toulouse,  by  the  Bras  d'Or  Lakes,  and 
confirmed  the  information.  The  channels  were  crooked,  but  could  be  made 
safe  by  buoys,  which  in  time  of  war  could  be  removed,  making  the  harbour 
"easy  to  friends,  inaccessible  to  enemies." 

Louisbourg  was  so  neglected  that  Soubras  urged  Costebelle  to  send  to 
Port  Toulouse,  St.  Ovide  and  most  of  the  Louisbourg  garrison,  as  no  work 
could  be  done  at  the  latter  place  during  the  winter.  L'Hermitte's  part  of  this 
work  was  tentative,  for  he  had  been  superseded  by  Beaucour,  who  arrived  in  the 
autumn,  and  he  had  experienced  the  bitterness  of  receiving  the  Minister's 
strictures  on  his  slowness  before  the  letters  arrived  promoting  him  to  the  post  of 
Major  at  Three  Rivers.  Thereafter  in  the  more  settled  conditions  of  Canada 
he  did  good  work,  until,  returning  from  France  on  the  Chameau  in  1725,  his 
long  career  in  the  public  service  ended  in  her  shipwreck  a  few  miles  from 

The  Acadian  situation  was  not  easy  ;  although  Vaudreuil,  Costebelle,  and 
Soubras  had  signed  a  memoir  begging  the  Court  to  do  the  impossible  by  sending 
a  vessel,  nothing  more  was  accomplished  than  sending  some  of  the  gear  for  their 
boats.1  Part  of  it  was  delivered,  but  very  few  of  them  had  come  to  Isle  Royale. 
Early  in  the  year  1715  news  came  to  Louisbourg  that  Nicholson  had  in  the 
autumn  told  the  Acadians  that  those  of  them  who  intended  leaving  must  go  at 
once  and  not  wait  until  the  spring.  The  King  instructed  the  French 
ambassador  to  ask  permission  to  send  a  ship  for  them,  and  the  request  having 
been  made,  time  was  being  lost  in  waiting  for  a  reply,  and  the  action  of  the 

1  Vol.  I,  107,  October  16,  1^14. 


French  Government  was  thus  hampered.  The  solution  was  left  to  the  local 
authorities  ;  they  were  to  avail  themselves  of  any  of  the  three  vessels  which  had  to 
come  out — the  Semslack,  the  Affriquain,  or  the  Mutine — and  send  one  of  them 
for  the  Acadians. 

Father  Dominique  de  la  Marche,  who  was  Grand  Vicar  of  the  Bishop  of 
Quebec,  had  been  sent  on  a  mission  to  the  Acadians  at  Port  Toulouse,  where  he 
met  representatives  of  prosperous  families  of  Minas  who  were  there,  the  results 
of  which  he  stated  in  a  letter,  September  7.  In  it  he  recounts  the  position 
and  fidelity  of  the  Acadians,  and  states  that  promises  solemnly  made  through 
the  missionaries  as  well  as  the  envoys,  La  Ronde  and  Pensens,  had  not  been 
kept,  and  urges  that  a  vessel  should  be  sent,  as  he  fears  further  delay. 
Although  Costebelle  was  absent  at  Port  Dauphin,  a  council  was  held  the  same 
day,  at  which  Soubras,  St.  Ovide,  Villejouin,  Renon,  Ste.  Marie,  de  la  Perelle, 
officers  of  the  garrison,  met  the  missionary.  They  decided  that  they  must  have 
some  pretext  for  sending  a  vessel,  either  the  disavowal  of  the  Indian  hostilities 
against  the  English  or  replacing  a  missionary.  They  decided  that  de  Pensens, 
a  favourite  with  the  Acadians,  and  de  la  Perelle,  who  spoke  English,  should  go 
on  the  Mutine  (Captain  de  Courcey),  which  should  be  provisioned  for  bringing 
back  the  Acadians  ;  but  that  if  they  could  not  make  them  come,  or  if  opposition 
was  offered,  they  should  return.  The  Mutine  started  on  the  voyage,  but,  meeting 
heavy  weather  and  contrary  winds,  returned  to  Louisbourg  without  having 
reached  Annapolis. 

In  August  of  the  following  year  (1716)  de  la  Marche  left  Port  Dauphin,  where 
he  was  established,  and  visited  Acadia,  returning  in  September.  He  says  that 
the  Acadians  were  not  to  blame  for  not  coming,  and  acknowledges  that  they 
were  no  longer  in  the  mood  to  come,  while  Costebelle  had  made  up  his  mind 
that  they  would  remain  where  they  were.  The  authorities  wrote  to  the  Minister 
that  the  Acadians  were  to  take  an  oath  that  the  Anglican  Church  was  the  only 
true  one,  that  the  Virgin  was  a  woman  like  any  other,  that  the  Pretender  was  a 
bastard,  and  that  they  would  be  faithful  to  the  new  King  ;  but  this  fable,  possibly 
because  it  was  a  fable,  moved  neither  the  Acadians  to  leave  nor  the  Ministry  to 
come  to  their  aid.1 

These  are  the  first  of  many  incidents  which  mark  the  care  of  the  French 
officials  to  avoid  giving  offence  to  the  English.  Their  attitude  was  defensive  ; 
the  instructions  sent  out  to  them  were  to  avoid  quarrels  and  not  to  resent 
aggressions.  The  only  firm  note  in  many  years  is  La  Ronde's  letter  to 
Nicholson,  in  which  he  states  that  the  King  intends  to  maintain  the  rights 
accorded  to  the  Acadians  by  Queen  Anne,  the  outcome  of  his  preference  for  the 

1  "  Contenant  que  la  religion  Anglicanne  est  la  seule  veritable,  que  la"  Ste.  Vierge  est  une  femme  comme  une  autre, 
<jue  le  Pretendu  Prince  de  Galles  est  batard,  et  qu'ils  promettent  fidelite"  au  nouveau  Roy  "  (C11  I.R.  2,  p.  90). 

36  MESCHIN'S  FEAST  1715 

grand  manner  rather  than  of  the  instructions  given  to  him.  The  garrison  of 
Annapolis,  weaker  than  that  of  Louisbourg,  was  powerless  to  prevent  the 
Acadians  removing.  They  were  entitled  to  leave  ;  the  question  of  time  had 
not  been  settled,  and,  had  the  policy  of  France  been  aggressive  or  a  pacific  one 
administered  by  strong  men,  the  sending  of  ships  for  the  Acadians  could  have 
been  defended  as  entirely  justifiable.  But  when  we  take  up  later  in  this  chapter 
the  conditions  in  France,  the  causes  of  many  things  which  happened  in  Louis- 
bourg will  be  made  clear. 

The  efforts  of  the  French  to  prevent  the  Indians  of  Acadia  from  ac- 
knowledging the  sovereignty  of  England  had  been  successful,  and  they  had 
largely  moved  to  Antigonish,  nearer  Isle  Royale,  without  making  any  settlement. 
The  relations  of  the  New  Englanders  with  the  Indians  of  Acadia  had  not  been 
friendly.  The  fishermen  who  frequented  the  adjacent  fishing-grounds  could  not 
dry  their  catch  on  shore,  as  they  were  driven  off  by  the  savages,  although  solitary 
Frenchmen  lived  among  them  and  traded  with  the  English  vessels.  The  Indian 
hostility  was  bitter.  The  Micmacs,  finding  two  dead  bodies  of  their  young 
men,  jumped  to  the  conclusion  that  they  had  been  killed  by  the  English,  and 
in  revenge  pillaged  nine  or  ten  vessels.  A  vessel  of  twelve  or  fourteen  guns 
which  was  cast  away  in  St.  George's  Bay  was  taken  and  the  crew  ill-treated,  in 
spite  of  the  efforts  of  Father  Gaulin  to  protect  them.  The  cause  of  this  outbreak 
was  their  belief  that  all  their  tribe  at  Minas  was  dying  of  poison  administered  by 
the  English.  A  similar  case  occurred  at  Beaubassin,  and  again  the  crew  were 
protected  by  Father  Felix.  Costebelle,  referring  to  these  and  similar  incidents, 
informed  the  Minister  that  pillaging  was  going  on  which  they  tried  to  prevent. 
Capon,  storekeeper  at  Annapolis,  was  sent  to  Louisbourg  in  1715  to  complain 
of  the  action  of  the  allies  of  the  French.  An  account  of  this  mission  is  found 
in  Meschin's  answer  to  a  charge  of  wasting  His  Majesty's  stores,  brought  against 
him  by  the  purser  of  his  own  ship,  who  reported  that,  being  a  godfather  at 
Louisbourg,  he  had  fired  a  salute  of  one  hundred  guns  and  wasted  powder  to 
the  value  of  1600  livres.  Meschin  said  in  reply  that  he  had  proved  to  the 
Commandant  and  Intendant  of  Rochefort,  where  the  charge  was  made,  that  this 
was  untrue.  The  facts  were  that  Sieur  Capon,  Commissary-General,  had  come 
from  Acadia  to  Isle  Royale  representing  General  Neilson  (Nicholson)  to  ask  for 
justice  from  the  Indians,  our  allies,  who  had  captured  some  English  vessels  in 
the  Strait  of  Canso  and  pillaged  their  crews.  On  which  matter,  the  heads  of  the 
Colony  not  being  able  otherwise  to  satisfy  the  envoy,  we  had  tried  to  content 
him  with  many  civilities  and  feasting  ("  De  le  contenter  par  beaucoup 
de  caresses  et  de  bonne  chere ").  Meschin  contributed  to  this  end  by  a 
dinner  on  board  the  Scmslack,  given  the  third  day  of  Capon's  stay,  to  which  he 
invited  the  Governor,  Soubras,  other  officers,  and  the  principal  inhabitants  to 


the  number  of  forty-five.  Monsieur  Capon  desired  to  drink  the  health  of  King 
Louis,  and  Meschin  felt  bound,  as  a  loyal  servant,  to  fire  a  salute  of  nine  guns  ; 
courtesy  demanded  an  equal  number  when  they  drank  to  King  George,  then 
five  were  fired  for  the  Admiral  of  France,  and  an  uncertain  number  for  the 
principal  French  and  English  general  officers.  The  hospitable  officer  was 
forgiven  for  having  only  a  general  knowledge  that  the  number  of  guns  was  less 
than  one  hundred.  The  Navy  Board  did  not  make  him  pay  for  these  feux 
de  joie} 

The  guests  of  Meschin  gathered  from  miserable  quarters.  The  houses  in 
which  they  lodged,  grouped  about  the  larger  dwelling  of  the  Governor,  were 
built  of  pickets  upright  in  the  ground,  a  meaner  type  of  construction  than 
a  log  hut.  On  the  other  side  of  the  little  stream  was  a  temporary  battery 
of  twelve  guns,  and  the  remainder  of  the  cannon  lay  on  the  beach  immediately 
below  the  Governor's  house.2  The  merchants  who  were  bidden  came  for 
the  most  part  from  the  other  side  of  the  arm,  where  they  had  already  established 
their  simple  dwellings  adjacent  to  the  beaches,  where  their  fish  were  cured, 
and  the  site  selected  for  the  fortifications.  We  have  some  idea  of  the  military 
officers  who  gathered  on  this  occasion,  for  Costebelle,  in  a  long  letter  to  the 
Minister  treating  of  various  subjects,  gives  a  description  of  himself  and  his 
associates.3  He  himself  is  fifty-four,  his  passions  weakened  by  years,  but  his 
zeal  great.  He  works  from  daylight  till  noon  ;  at  dinner  they  sit  long  and 
make  decently  merry.  This  is  borne  out  by  Soubras,  who  says  that,  although 
Costebelle  is  despotic,  his  sociable  humour  contributes  to  keep  the  peace  between 
them.  Besides  the  difficulties  of  his  office,  Costebelle  is  overwhelmed  by  private 
debts,  and  is  anxious  to  get  to  France  to  find  means  to  extricate  himself.  St. 
Ovide,  he  says,  is  devout,  and  has  all  the  talents  of  a  man  of  the  sword  and  of 
a  writer,  but  he  exaggerates.  Beaucour  has  talents,  and  will  find  plenty  of  room 
for  their  exercise.  Ligondez  is  a  good  officer,  is  never  too  slow,  sometimes  too 
lively.  La  Ronde  Denys  is  also  good,  independent,  energetic,  fine,  but  will  be 
better  when  age  has  modified  his  temperament  and  he  is  free  from  the  influence 
of  doubtful  relations.  Villejouin  is  good.  Rouville,  a  phcenix  for  labours. 
Ste.  Marie,  Costebelle's  brother-in-law,  a  Proven9al,  is  inclined  to  be  close. 

1  Ar.  Nat.  Marine,  C,  7,  206.  2  Young's  Map. 

3  "  Pour  luy  deffiner  le  cours  de  ma  vie  presante  il  est  temps  que  je  luy  dire  que  j'ai  atteint  1'aage  de  54  ans,  oil  les 
passions  vives  et  turbulentes  s'affbiblessent  d'elle  meme,  il  n'y  a  que  celles  de  mon  devoir  que  se  soient  fortfie  et  je  n'ay 
jamais  eu  tant  d'occasion  de  faire  briller  mon  zelle  par  la  situation  oil  toutes  choses  se  trouvent  aujourd'hui,  pour  d'accuser 
juste  a  votre  grandeur  je  lui  diray  que  je  suis  vigilant  a  toutte  sorte  d'heure  de  point  de  jour  jusque  a  midy  m'occupe  le 
plus,  apres  quoy  je  reste  assa  longtemps  a  table  avec  1'elitte  des  officiers  mais  il  se  commet  rien  dans  nos  plus  riantes 
societies  qui  tiennent  de  la  Crapule,  ni  que  derrange  les  fonctions  militaires,  non  plus  que  les  travaux  projettes  que  mes 
orders  ont  precedes,  nostre  honneste  gallanterie  ne  scandalise  personne  et  s'il  y  a  quelque  libertinage  outre  dans  le  commun 
du  peuple,  il  n'est  tolerd  qu'autant  qu'il  m'est  inconu. 

"Monsieur  de  St.  Ovide  me  ressamble  assais  avec  15  ans  de  moins,  il  prie  dieu  un  peu  plus  longtemps  sans  adorer 
plus  humblemant  que  moy  sa  divine  providence  "  (C11  I.R.  vol.  i,  p 


Kenon  also  is  good,  and  all  the  junior  officers  satisfactory,  especially  Couagne, 
who  deserves  promotion.  These  descriptions  testify  to  his  amiability,  but 
they  have  to  be  modified  from  other  sources.  Ligondez  the  Major  says  : 
"  Rouville's  is  the  only  company  looked  after,  that  the  other  Captains  think  it 
beneath  their  dignity  to  care  for  their  men,  and  that  Villejouin  is  lazy."  Ste. 
Marie  was  ordered  under  arrest  by  the  Minister  for  allowing  a  girl  to  escape 
from  the  primitive  hut  which  served  as  the  town  prison,  and  severe  reproofs 
were  administered  to  Villejouin. 

Costebelle  was  overwhelmed  by  the  condition  in  which  they  found  them- 
selves in  the  autumn.  It  was  against  both  discipline  and  effective  work.  The 
SemsLick  and  the  Mutine  had  come  out,  the  former  with  5000  livres  in  money 
and  a  few  stores,  costing  an  equal  amount,  which  were  spoiled  on  the  voyage, 
to  meet  180,000  livres  unpaid  for  1714,  and  450,000  livres  allotted  to  the 
expenses  of  this  year.  The  arrival  of  the  Affriquain,  which  had  their  supplies, 
was  expected  with  more  and  more  eagerness,  until,  when  her  arrival  became 
doubtful,  famine  seemed  imminent.  The  provisioning  of  the  outports  was  put 
off  as  late  as  possible,  but  as  well  as  they  could  they  worked  on.  The  principal 
officers  and  troops  were  moved  to  Port  Dauphin.  The  guns  brought  from 
Placentia,  both  English  and  French,  were  tested  by  the  Aide-Artillerie  of  the 
garrison  and  the  master  gunner  of  the  Semslack,  and  the  greater  part  allotted  to 
Port  Dauphin,  although  only  eighteen  were  taken  there  in  this  season.1 

Civil  government  went  on  also.  Soubras,  new  to  the  colonies,  made 
ordinances  regulating  the  beaches,  hospital  dues,  the  prices  of  fish  and  the 
rates  of  wages,  and  the  entries  and  clearances  of  vessels.  These  provoked 
remonstrances  from  the  outfitting  merchants  in  France  as  well  as  the  inhabitants 
of  the  town.  They  also  disturbed  the  Acadians,  who,  from  what  a  writer  calls 
the  republican  state  in  which  they  had  lived,  found  all  regulations  irksome. 
Neither  effective  work  could  be  done  nor  good  morals  preserved  with  the 
prospect  of  famine  before  the  people  and  the  officers.  Costebelle  had  hoped  to 
have  the  barracks  at  Port  Dauphin  finished  by  the  winter,  but  in  the  late  autumn 
Soubras  found  that  nothing  had  been  done  for  three  months,  as  the  soldiers, 
even  under  de  Rouville,  the  most  capable  of  all  the  officers,  had  been  building 

1   Port  Dauphin,  Louitbsurg. 

6  of  36  Ibs.  3  of  36  Ibf. 

24    »  4   »  24 

9  „  18 

5  „    12 

8  „    8 

14  „    6 

50  guns  43  guns 

26  mortars.  i  mortar. 

Not  only  the  number  but  the  calibre  of  the  gum  sent  to  Port  Dauphin  were  greatly  superior. 


themselves  huts  in  the  woods.  The  scarcity  of  provisions  was  increased  by  the 
necessity  of  supplying  the  Semslack  for  her  voyage  back  to  France.  At  the  end 
of  the  season  the  authorities,  after  sending  back  all  the  sick  and  young  soldiers, 
two  hundred  and  twenty  in  all,  about  half  the  garrison,  took  from  the  merchants 
of  the  town,  the  ships  in  the  harbour,  and  even  from  private  houses  the  pro- 
visions they  could  find.  Laforest,  the  clerk  who  was  charged  with  this  duty, 
says  he  made  many  enemies  by  undertaking  this  odious  task.  Costebelle  does 
not  hesitate  to  write  to  the  Minister  that  the  Government  plunders  those  whom 
it  should  protect.  The  condition  at  Louisbourg,  as  the  declining,  although  the 
most  populous  place,  was  worst.  Its  inhabitants  were  in  consternation,  and  had 
represented  to  Costebelle  and  Soubras  that  their  port  was  the  only  one  ;  the 
captains  of  the  French  vessels  also  confirmed  this  view,  and  held  that  Louisbourg 
must  be  re-established.  If,  instead  of  drawing  the  good  men  from  all  the 
companies  for  Port  Dauphin,  St.  Ovide  had  been  given  a  few  workmen  and 
the  two  companies  allotted  to  that  place,  he  could  have  made  it  tenable  ;  as  it 
was  he  had  three  captains,  one  lieutenant,  two  ensigns,  three  corporals,  seventeen 
soldiers,  five  workmen,  and  one  sick  carpenter. 

The  fishing  had  been  good  on  the  whole,  especially  at  Port  Toulouse  and 
Port  Dauphin.  Sixty-four  vessels  had  come  out  from  France,  which  had  three 
hundred  and  eight  boats  in  all.  The  prediction  that  the  vicissitudes  of  1715 
would  tell  on  the  industry  the  following  year  was  justified  by  the  results,  for  in 

1716  only  twenty  vessels  came  from  France.     The  situation  was  so  bad  that  St. 
Ovide  wrote  that  he  feared  that  the  pirates  who  infested  these  waters,  knowing 
the  unprotected  condition  of  the  town,  might  attack  it  after  the  King's  ships  had 
left.     Soubras  said  the  colony  by  a  single  repetition  of  this  state  of  affairs  would 
be  ruined,  that  the  officers  were  as  badly  off  as  the  privates,  and  Laperelle  was 
sent  to  Court  to  represent  personally  their  desperate  position. 

It  is  difficult  to  read  the  documents  from  which  this  narrative  has  been 
compiled  and  not  to  believe  that  the  wretched  state  of  Isle  Royale  was  owing  to 
incompetence  and  neglect  on  the  part  of  the  home  administration.  It  is  equally 
difficult  to  read  the  accounts  of  France  in  the  previous  score  of  years,  while  the 
kingly  sun  of  the  great  Louis  was  descending  behind  the  clouds,  all  of  which  tell 
of  hideous  poverty,  of  a  stagnant  commerce,  of  an  almost  naked  peasantry 
suffering  from  severe  winters,  from  plague  and  pestilence,  of  governmental 
interference  which  aggravated  the  miseries  of  the  people,  and  not  to  wonder  how 
the  ordinary  expenses  were  provided  for,  how  pensions  could  be  allotted  or 
-gratuities  given  to  deserving  officers,  or  a  new  establishment  like  Louisbourg 
carried  on. 

The  exhaustion  not  only  of  the  public  treasury  but  of  public  credit  was  com- 
plete in  the  last  year  of  Louis  XIV.'s  reign.  The  Navy  Board  met  and  made  their 


arrangements  for  the  season's  work.  The  King  had  approved  the  appropriation  of 
410,000  1.  for  Isle  Royale,  a  trifle  of  10,000  1.  had  been  asked  for  the  Acadians, 
but  Demarets,  the  Treasurer,  had  not  sent  it.  Pontchartrain  put  himself  on 
record  as  to  the  importance  of  Isle  Royale,  in  a  passage  which  has  been  quoted. 
No  reply  was  received  to  this  letter.  He  asks  for  these  funds  in  March,  as  the 
needs  are  most  urgent  and  the  time  is  short.  At  the  end  of  the  month  he 
takes  up  the  question  of  overdue  bills  of  exchange  for  Canada.  He  brings 
pressure  to  bear  on  the  Treasurer,  through  Monsieur  de  Nointel,  to  whom  he 
suggests  a  lottery,  or  a  tax  on  lotteries.  Meantime,  the  usual  administrative 
details  are  being  carried  on  for  the  officering  and  provisioning  of  the  ships  and 
providing  the  cargoes. 

Funds  for  the  navy  were  so  low  in  these  years  that  it  was  found  impossible  to  equip  a 
frigate  and  buy  supplies  without  borrowing  fifty  to  sixty  thousand  livres  from  private 
sources.  (Pontchartrain  to  Desmarets,  April  21,  1713,  M.  St.  M.  vol.  50.) 

Lettre  de  M.  des  Maretz,  ministre  des  finances,  a  M.  le  Comte  de  Pontchartrain 
(Versailles,  31  decembre  1/13),  extrait : 

"  A  1'Egard  des  fonds  que  vous  demandez  pour  1'Evacuation  de  Plaisance,  et 
I'Establissem1  de  1'Isle  Royale,  Je  prendray  incessamment  les  ordres  du  Roy  pour  destiner 
a  cette  ddpense  ceux  que  sa  Majest6  jugera  apropos  sur  les  premiers  deniers  qui  pouront 
estre  meViagez.  .  .  ."  (Arch.  Nat.  Marine,  63,  216.) 

Three  weeks  later  he  writes  again,  expressing  surprise  and  pleasure  that  one 
of  his  Intendants  had  found  means  to  pay  the  men  who  had  been  working  on  the 
ships  for  Isle  Royale,  and  by  the  middle  of  May  insists  that  the  money  be  found  ; 
otherwise,  that  colony  will  fail  and  England  will  be  mistress  of  the  cod  fisheries. 
He  is  disquieted  by  the  news  from  the  outfitting  port  of  Rochefort,  where  the 
long  unpaid  men  refused  to  work  on  these  ships.  Later  in  the  month  the 
Intendant  Montholon  writes  him  that  merchants  will  not  supply  goods  without 
prompt  payment.  Early  in  June  the  Sems/ack  is  sent  off  to  show  the  troops 
and  settlers  that  the  King  has  not  forgotten  them,  but  the  evil  conditions 
continue.  Other  merchants  will  not  sell,  even  with  special  assurance  of  payment ; 
other  workmen  refuse  to  continue  in  the  King's  dockyards  ;  seamen  engaged  for 
the  voyages  of  these  ships  have  deserted  ;  there  was  no  money  to  be  found.  His 
proposal,  made  in  March,  to  establish  a  new  lottery  for  the  benefit  of  the  colony, 
or  to  impose  a  tax,  for  the  same  purpose,  of  3  per  cent  on  existing  lotteries,  was 
not  accepted,  and  the  end  came  on  the  2ist  of  August  1715,  three  days  before 
the  illness  of  the  King  began,  when  the  Minister  sent  orders  to  the  Intendant  of 
La  Rochelle  to  have  the  Affriquain  dismantled,  as  it  was  too  late  to  send  her 
to  Isle  Royale.  Compared  with  the  early  years  of  other  settlements,  Annapolis, 
for  example,  Isle  Royale  was  not  badly  off;  compared  with  great  monarchies, 


few  of  those  which  have  survived  ever  found  themselves  more  exhausted  than 
was  France  at  this  time. 

On  September  i,  1715,  Louis  XIV.  died.  It  is  not  a  necessary  part  of 
this  narrative  to  recount  the  disposition  he  made  for  the  Regency  during  the 
minority  of  his  great-grandson.  Parliament  was  summoned  at  once  ;  Orleans 
triumphed  over  the  legitimized  princes  and  the  will  of  the  King,  and  was  made 
Regent  with  the  power  to  nominate  the  Council  of  the  Regency,  to  whose  hands 
was  committed  the  conduct  of  affairs.  The  dissoluteness  of  Philip  Duke  of 
Orleans,  the  extravagance,  the  gracefulness  of  the  art  of  his  epoch,  Law's 
marvellous  achievements,  his  stupendous  breakdown,  are  the  things  which  stand 
out  in  the  popular  conception  of  the  Regent's  history.  They  are  just  elements 
in  that  conception,  but  it  is  equally  true  that  the  Regent  is  perhaps  the  most 
conspicuous  instance  of  modern  times  of  one  in  a  splendid  position  whose  moral 
corruption  made  impotent,  except  for  evil,  a  great  capacity  for  affairs. 

France  saw  with  relief  the  ending  of  the  epoch  of  Louis  XIV.  Her  people 
gladly  welcomed  the  declaration  of  the  Regent  that  he  intended  to  follow  the 
plans  of  the  Duke  of  Burgundy,  that  upright  and  intelligent  grandson  of  the 
late  King,  the  docile  pupil  of  Fenelon,  whose  advent  to  the  throne,  until  his 
premature  death,  had  been  regarded  as  the  promise  of  better  things.  Louis 
XIV.'s  boast  that  "  L'Etat  c'est  moi  "  had  been  as  nearly  realized  as  possible,  but 
it  had  worked  out,  in  the  view  of  the  Regent's  supporters,  into  there  being  in 
administrative  affairs  an  absolute  ruler  in  each  department  into  which  the 
business  of  the  State  was  divided.  The  remedy  proposed  for  this  was  the 
institution  of  Councils.  The  "  Seven  Councils "  proposed  by  the  Duke  of 
Burgundy  were  established  by  the  Regent.  They  gave  a  great  subdivision  of 
labour,  and  a  firmer  grasp  of  administration  than  under  the  previous  system.  In 
the  division  of  affairs  under  Louis  XV.  a  more  logical  view  was  taken  by  the 
recognition  of  the  internal  affairs  of  the  kingdom  as  worthy  a  department,  and 
by  the  institution,  as  an  afterthought,  of  a  Conseil  de  Commerce.  One  historian  of 
the  Regency  speaks  disparagingly  of  the  composition  of  the  Councils,  but  La  Cour- 
Gayet,1  the  historian  of  the  French  Navy  in  the  reign  of  Louis  XV.,  who  begins 
a  chapter,  "  Banqueroute  financiere,  banqueroute  morale,  banqueroute  politique, 
c'est  sous  les  auspices  de  cette  triple  faillite  nationale  que  s'ouvrit  le  regne  de 
I'arriere  petit-fils  de  Louis  le  Grand,"  and  therefore  may  fairly  be  assumed  to 
have  no  predisposition  to  apologise  for  the  acts  of  the  Regent,  says  of  the  Navy 
Board  that  it  would  have  been  difficult  to  find  eleven  better  names  than  those 
the  Regent  selected.  His  only  criticism  is  that  Duguay-Trouin  was  not  a 

At   the  head  of  the  Council   was  the  Comte   de   Toulouse,  one  of  the 

1   La  Cour-Gayet,  La  Marine  militaire  de  la  France  sous  Louis  XV,  Paris,  1902. 

42  THE  NAVY  BOARD  1715 

legitimized  sons  of  the  King,  Admiral  of  France,  owing  his  place  to  his  origin, 
but  who,  nevertheless,  had  distinguished  himself  in  command  of  the  French 
fleet  in  battle  with  those  of  England  and  Holland  at  Velez  Malaga.  D'Estrees 
was  President,  and  he  too  had  shared  in  the  same  battle.  St.  Simon  praises 
him  as  honourable,  upright,  and  understanding  the  Navy.  Tesse,  Coe"tlogon, 
d'Asfeild,  and  Champigny  were  officers  of  merit  and  brilliant  services.  Renau 
was  a  naval  engineer  of  resource  whose  invention  of  the  bomb  ketch  marked 
a  distinct  advance  in  naval  warfare,  De  Vauvr6  an  Intendant  of  the  Navy 
of  more  than  excellent  reputation,  Ferraud  a  lawyer.  Bonrepaus,  a  collaborator 
of  Colbert  and  predecessor  of  Raudot  as  Intendant  des  Classes,  had  always 
had  a  reputation  as  an  unequalled  administrator.  Pontchartrain  was  dismissed, 
although  to  secure  this  result  his  position  was  promised  to  his  son  Maurepas, 
then  a  boy  of  fifteen.  A  more  systematic  way  of  carrying  on  the  affairs  of 
the  department  was  instituted.  The  regulation  for  the  colonial  correspondence 
was  business-like.  Instructions  were  sent  out  that  each  letter  should  deal  with 
one  matter  only  ; l  subordinate  officers  were  to  be  no  longer  permitted  to  write 
to  the  Council  as  they  had  to  the  Minister  ;  military  officers  would  report  to 
the  Governor,  civil  officers  to  the  Intendant  or  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  on 
their  private  affairs  ;  officials  could  write  to  members  of  the  Board,  but  should 
address  it  only  if  they  were  giving  information  of  malversation. 

The  documents  concerning  Isle  Royale  bear  out  the  views  of  La  Cour-Gayet. 
Careful  agenda  for  the  meetings  of  the  Board  were  now  prepared,  business 
was  disposed  of  promptly,  although  precedent  seemed  slavishly  followed, 
marginal  notes  indicated  the  reference  of  many  questions  to  the  best-informed 
officials,  such  as  Raudot  and  Verville,  when  he  was  in  France,  and  all  items 
of  importance  were  brought  to  the  personal  notice  of  the  Regent,  who  gave 
immediate  decisions.  Whatever  may  have  been  his  vices,  or  the  soundness 
of  his  views,  he  attended  to  the  business  of  Isle  Royale. 

1  This  was  ignored  at  Louisbourg. 


THE  Navy  Board  took  up  the  direction  of  affairs  with  vigour,  although  they 
were  seriously  cramped  by  the  lack  of  funds  ;  for  the  hope  of  better  things, 
which  the  Regent's  government  inspired,  had  relieved,  only  to  the  slightest 
degree,  the  scarcity  of  money.  At  the  earliest  possible  time,  letters  were 
written  to  the  officials  saying  that  provisions  would  be  sent  them  from  one 
of  the  southern  ports  early  in  the  spring,  and  that  the  deplorable  conditions 
of  the  winter  of  1715  would  not  be  permitted  to  occur  again.  This  promise  was 
kept,  for  the  first  merchant  ships  arrived  on  the  loth  of  April  1716,  and  in  May 
the  first  provisions  sent  out  had  been  received.  The  sufferings  of  the  winter 
had  not  been  extreme,  although  conditions  must  have  been  far  from  comfortable. 
At  Port  Toulouse  they  were  almost  without  bread,  many  of  their  cattle  had 
died  from  lack  of  fodder,  and  two  shipwrecks  on  Isle  Madame  had  added 
to  the  miseries  of  their  situation.  To  relieve  the  distress  of  the  inhabitants 
at  Louisbourg,  St.  Ovide  had  to  supply  them  from  the  stores  of  the  garrison. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  supply  of  intoxicants  being  reduced  to  a  minimum, 
the  garrison  was  never  in  better  health. 

The  change  of  administration  at  home  leads  naturally  to  an  account  of  the 
objects  which  were  sought  in  the  settlement  of  Isle  Royale,  the  conditions  there 
which  affected  the  attainment  of  the  end  aimed  at,  and  the  administrative 
machinery  which  the  Navy  Board  employed.  The  narrative  of  what  took 
place  at  Louisbourg  will  show  the  degree  of  success  its  administration  attained, 
as  well  as  the  effectiveness  of  the  methods  the  Board  employed.  The  object 
was  to  establish  at  Isle  Royale  a  flourishing  settlement  based  on  its  principal 
industry,  the  fisheries,  and  the  development  of  the  other  resources  of  the 
Island,  and  an  entrepot  at  which  the  commerce  based  on  these  industries 
might  be  carried  on  with  France,  the  West  Indies,  and  Canada.  The  first 
encouragement  given  to  this  trade  before  the  Board  took  charge  was  the 
remission  of  the  duties  on  coal  coming  from  Isle  Royale  (January  29,  1715). 
A  year  later  fish  and  fish  oils  were  also  allowed  free  importation  into  France, 
and  at  a  later  date  again,  duties  on  products  of  the  French  West  Indies,  coming 




by  way  of  Louisbourg,  were   also  removed.      The  exemptions  were   each   for 
a  term  of  ten  years,  but  in  each  case  they  were,  as  the  time  elapsed,  renewed.1 

The  sustenance  of  several  hundred  people  on  an  island  which  produced  at 
the  time  no  food  for  man  except  its  abundant  fish  and  game,  was  the  object  of 
vital  importance.  Supplies  were  to  be  drawn  from  France  and  Canada,  which 
was  entirely  in  accordance  with  the  economic  policy  of  the  time  ;  also  from 
Acadia.  This  trade  was  on  the  border-land  of  the  permitted,  for  although  it 
was  a  British  colony,  the  fact  that  its  inhabitants  were  French,  who,  it  was  hoped, 
would  remove  to  Isle  Royale,  made  it  politic  to  encourage  this  intercourse.  On 
account,  however,  of  the  higher  state  to  which  agriculture  had  been  developed 
in  New  England,  and  the  keenness  for  profitable  trade  of  its  inhabitants,  it  was 
not  only  the  surest,  but  the  cheapest  source  of  supply  for  the  nourishment  of 
these  French  settlers. 

The  advantages  of  this  commerce,  foreseen  by  Raudot,  were  felt  by  Coste- 
belle,  who  wrote  proposing  that,  as  far  as  concerned  the  products  of  those 
colonies,  it  should  be  permitted  to  Isle  Royale.  The  Board,  being  advised  that 
French  merchants  would  cease  to  send  their  vessels  to  Isle  Royale  if  his  view 
was  accepted,  decided,  instead,  to  make  more  stringent  rules  against  all  com- 
mercial intercourse  with  foreigners. 

The  cost  of  food  stuffs  from  France  was  very  high,  the  supply  in  Canada 
was  uncertain,  from  both  the  voyage  was  difficult,  and  the  cost  of  transportation 
therefore  high  ;  intercourse  with  Acadia  was  dependent  on  the  inaction  of  its 
English  administration,  who  complained  at  a  later  date  that  there  was  often 
scarcity  in  Annapolis  when  Louisbourg  was  abundantly  supplied.  The  local 
officials  therefore  found  themselves  hampered  by  the  prohibition  of  commercial 
intercourse  with  its  most  advantageous  source  of  supply. 

The  administration  of  the  Colony  was  nominally  part  of  the  government  of 
New  France,  but  the  affairs  of  Isle  Royale  were  directed  from  the  Cabinet  of 
the  Minister,  and  the  Governor  and  Intendant  of  Canada  were  advised  about  the 
affairs  of  Isle  Royale  only  in  as  far  as  the  business  of  the  two  colonies  was 
concerned.  The  connection  was  kept  alive,  however,  in  the  phraseology  of 
Royal  documents  which  were  addressed  to  the  authorities  of  New  France  as  well 
as  those  of  Isle  Royale,  although  the  subject-matter  concerned  the  latter 
colony  alone. 

The  chief  official  of  the  Colony  was  the  Governor,  and  next  to  him  in  rank 
was,  in  Isle  Royale,  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  discharging  the  functions 
which,  in  more  important  colonies,  as  Canada,  in  the  provinces  of  France,  and  in 
quasi-dependent  states  such  as  Lorraine  during  the  reign  there  of  Stanislas  of 
Poland,  were  those  of  the  Intendant. 

1   Morcau  St.  Mery,  vol.  50,  pp.  27,  43,  54,  576. 


All  military  matters  except  the  commissariat  were  under  the  exclusive 
control  of  the  Governor,  as  well  as  the  disposition  of  any  vessels,  which,  however, 
he  was  obliged  to  supply  to  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur.  Grants  of  lands  and 
the  maintenance  of  order  were  common  to  both,  while  the  administration  of 
justice,  the  supervision  of  the  hospital,  the  care  of  the  King's  stores,  and  the 
providing  of  supplies  belonged  exclusively  to  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur. 
The  Governor  represented  the  military,  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  the  civil 
element.  There  was  natural  antagonism  between  the  two,  and  every  letter  of 
joint  instructions  from  the  Minister  inculcated  the  necessity  of  harmony.  But 
the  distinction  between  their  departments  was  not  easy  to  draw,  and  constant 
friction  resulted,  although  the  home  administration  did  all  that  it  could  to 
minimize  its  causes.  Their  seats  in  church,  the  order  in  which  the  sacrament 
should  be  administered,  their  places  in  processions  were  regulated.  While  the 
easy-going  Costebelle  had  no  trouble  with  Soubras,  St.  Ovide  constantly  quarrelled 
with  the  three  Commissaire-Ordonnateurs  who  served  with  him.  They  quarrelled 
about  precedence,  about  the  realities  of  business,  about  its  formalities,  and  while 
probably  no  staff  of  a  government  or  corporation  is  free  from  jealousy  or  rivalry, 
these  motives  are  not  allowed,  under  a  strong  administration,  to  interfere  with 
efficiency.  The  conditions  at  Louisbourg,  however,  were  so  bad  that,  as  an 
instance,  the  Council  writes  that  the  Governor  and  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur 
seem  to  agree  only  in  one  thing,  that  being  to  hamper  the  engineer  in  the  work 
of  building  the  fortifications.  Their  disagreements  reached,  in  the  same  year, 
such  a  point  that  St.  Ovide,  the  Governor,  and  de  Mezy,  who  had  replaced 
Soubras,  were  informed  that  if  they  could  not  agree,  remedies  would  be  proposed 
to  the  Regent  which  would  be  disagreeable  to  them  both.1  Even  so  sharp  a 
threat  as  this  did  not  make  things  go  smoothly  for  long.  But  it  would  be  unfair 
to  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  officials  of  Isle  Royale  were  entirely  occupied 
in  such  rivalries.  Each  in  his  own  department  was  desirous  of  doing  well,  or 
at  least  of  standing  well  with  the  Minister.  Each  was  jealous  of  the  dignity 
of  his  office,  and  feared  to  secure  an  immediate  benefit  to  the  common  weal 
by  making  concessions  which  might  diminish  the  prestige  of  the  position 
he  occupied. 

Verville  and  Verrier,  the  engineers  of  the  fortifications,  Isabeau  and  Ganet, 
the  contractors  who  built  them,  saw  only  the  necessity  of  hastening  on  this  work 
to  which  they  were  urged  by  the  home  Government.  They  complained  of  St. 
Ovide,  who,  as  military  head,  was  bound  to  protect  the  interest  of  the  captains 
whose  soldiers  worked  for  the  contractors.  The  Commissaire-Ordonnateur, 
equally  with  the  Governor,  did  not  care  for  this  work,  being  in  great  part  inde- 
pendent of  them,  and  the  latter  having  to  submit  to  the  outlay  for  the  fortifications 

1  B,  vol.  42,  f.  480  and  490,  July  9,  Sept.  20,  1720. 

46  THE  SUPERIOR  COUNCIL  1714-1758 

being  kept  separate  from  the  current  accounts  of  the  establishment.  Zeal  is  not 
as  likely  to  produce  such  friction  as  slackness,  but  in  an  isolated  community, 
without  a  supreme  head,  so  distant  that  it  took  months  to  get  a  decision  from 
the  highest  authority,  public  interest  suffered  even  from  the  unharmonized  zeal 
of  the  officials. 

The  ordinary  course  of  business  was  that  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  and 
the  Governor  wrote  joint  letters  to  the  Board,  and  that  each  addressed  it 
separately,  on  subjects  exclusively  in  his  control  ;  and  that  in  reply  the  Board, 
and  afterwards  the  Minister,  wrote  in  the  same  way.  Sometimes  it  happened 
that  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  in  another  letter,  withdrew  statements  which 
he  had  signed  in  the  joint  letter  in  the  interests  of  harmony.1  This  corre- 
spondence and  the  accounts  were  taken  up  at  headquarters,  analyzed,  evidently 
by  well-informed  and  able  subordinates  of  the  Minister,  and  the  replies  sent  out 
by  the  men  of  war  which  sailed  in  the  early  summer  ;  so  that  the  normal  inter- 
course was  to  have  letters  written  in  the  autumn  answered  in  the  following 
May  or  June.  It  is  obvious  from  Ministerial  replies  that  other  sources  of 
information  than  the  letters  of  colonial  officials  were  available.  One  of  these 
sources  was  the  presence  in  France  of  officers  of  the  garrison  on  leave,  who  were 
given  the  despatches  and  probably  had  an  audience  with  the  Minister.2  Another 
unquestionably  was  correspondence  which  no  longer  is  available,  and  a  third  was 
the  presence  in  France  of  officials  familiar  with  the  conditions  of  the  Colony. 
From  one  or  all  of  these  were  gathered  the  statements  on  which  the  decisions  of 
the  Council  and  Ministers  were  made.3 

A  superior  council  was  established  in  1717  which  consisted  of  the 
Governor,  the  King's  Lieutenant,  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  sitting  as 
first  councillor,  two  other  councillors,  a  procureur-general,  and  a  greffier.  This 
was  a  Court  of  Justice  governed  by  the  Coutume  de  Paris,  from  which  appeals 
were  allowed  to  Quebec  and  France,  and  only  after  registration  by  it  did 
patents,  proclamations,  regulations,  and  grants  of  land  become  effective.  There 
was  also  established  an  Admiralty  Court4  which  had  charge  of  shipping,  wrecks, 
and  marine  police.  It  was  sustained  by  moderate  fees  on  the  shipping  of  the 
port,  and  being  under  the  High  Admiral  of  France,  who  had  certain  rights  over 
prizes,  confiscations,  and  wrecks,  created  a  new  source  of  conflict. 

Of  greater  importance  than  the  "  men  of  the  pen,"  who  were  officials, 
Treasurer,  clerks,  and  the  like,  under  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  were  the 
"  men  of  the  sword,"  the  officers  of  the  troops  which  the  French  administration, 
unlike  that  of  England,  thought  it  necessary  to  keep  in  an  isolated  colony  even 

1  E.g.  Soubras,  I.R.  vol.  3,  f.  186. 

2  L.i  IVrelle,  who  went  with  dispatches  in  1721,  had  an  audience  with  the  Regent  arranged  for  him  (I.R.  2,  378). 

»  The  major  of  the  troops,  the  Treasurer  and  officers  of  the  Admiralty  wrote  annually.     The  rules  of  the  Board  as 
to  correspondence  were  not  strictly  observed.  «  Edict  of  Jan.  12,  1-27. 

1714-1758  THE  GARRISON  47 

in  time  of  profound  peace.  These  troops  were  neither  regular  regiments  of 
the  splendid  armies  of  France  nor  "  Compagnies  Franches  de  la  Marine,"  which, 
formed  in  1690,  garrisoned  the  naval  dep6ts  of  France  and  served  on  her 
King's  ships,  although  in  organization  and  uniform  the  Louisbourg  troops 
closely  resembled  the  latter  corps.  They  were  apparently  supplementary 
companies  organized  on  the  same  basis,  for  the  total  number  of  the  Compagnies 
Franches l  is  accounted  for  in  other  services  than  that  of  the  Colony.  There 
is  some  looseness  in  the  way  the  Isle  Royale  troops  are  described.  La  Ronde 
and  de  Pensens  announced  themselves  to  Armstrong  in  1714  as  captains  of 
"  Compagnies  Franches."  Later  these  were  described  as  "  Compagnies  De- 
tachees,"  also  as  "  Compagnies  Fransaises."  Each  company  was  a  separate 
unit,  and  the  only  purely  military  officer  over  the  company  commanders  was 
a  major  in  each  garrison  to  supervise  the  discipline  of  the  companies  in  the 
place.  He  had  so  little  authority  that  the  supervision  was  usually  ineffective, 
and  a  status  so  uncertain  that  he  had  to  have  at  Louisbourg  a  declaration  that 
he  took  precedence  of  the  captains  of  the  companies. 

The  strength  of  the  garrison  of  Louisbourg  varied  from  six  of  these 
companies  to  twenty-four  in  the  last  years.  Each  consisted  of  forty-five  men, 
raised  later  to  sixty,  and  in  1 742  to  seventy,  not  counting  the  drummer,  under 
command  of  a  captain,  lieutenant,  enseigne  (an  enseigne  en  deux  was  added, 
and  two  cadets  a  Taiguilette),  two  sergeants  and  two  corporals.2  The  rations 
were  somewhat  better  than  those  of  Canada,  following  in  this  the  custom  which 
had  obtained  in  Placentia,  and  for  the  lower  grades  of  the  officers  the  pay  also 
was  slightly  higher,  although  Soubras  states  that  it  was  inadequate.3  The 
uniform  was  white  with  blue  facings.  At  Louisbourg  the  soldiers  were  allowed 
to  marry,  and  apparently  it  was  a  perquisite  of  the  married  soldiers  to  keep 

The  pay  of  the  men  was  small,  but  they  were  supposed  to  carry  on  the 
work  of  the  King  in  building  fortifications  and  similar  works,  for  which  they 
received  extra  pay.  They  were  also  allowed  to  work  for  the  inhabitants,  which 
added  to  their  income.  The  fact  that  they  were  only  paid  twice  a  year,  their 
fondness  for  drink,  their  captains  supplying  them  with  it,  and  at  a  profit  to 
themselves,4  made  of  these  troops  an  undisciplined  and  ineffective  body, 
which  punishments  did  not  deter  from  evil  courses  nor  inducements  to  settle, 
turn  into  good  citizens. 

The  officers  began  their  career  early  ;  they  were  entered  as  soldiers  at  the 

1  The  only  account  I  have  found  of  this  body,  which  deals  only  incidentally  with  the  troops  at  Isle  Royale,  is  Les 
Ancicnnes  Troupes  de  la  Marine,  by  G.  Coste,  Paris,  1893. 

2  B,  35,  f.  786.  3  I.R.  vol.  2,  p.  120. 

4  The  outfit  was  inadequate.     Soubras  pointed  out  in   1717  that  it  was  impossible  that  one  pair  of  shoes  and  stock- 
ings should  last  for  a  year. 

48  THE  OFFICERS  1714-1758 

earliest  age,  even  unweaned,  "a  la  mamelle,"  says  L'Hermitte,  but,  counting 
this  an  exaggeration,  it  is  known  that  the  sons,  six  years  old,  of  officers  served 
in  the  ranks,  that  is,  drew  rations  and  pay.  They  passed  through  the  various 
grades  reasonably  certain  of  a  pension,  unless  by  gross  misconduct  they  forfeited 
their  positions.  An  early  act  of  the  Regency  was  to  fix  the  age  of  entrance  at 
sixteen.  The  commissions  in  these  companies  were  not  confined  exclusively 
to  those  trained  for  them.  Indeed  the  militant  forces  were  rather  treated  as 
one,  whether  their  service  was  on  sea  or  land,  and  there  were  not  infrequent 
instances  of  company  officers  taking  a  position  on  board  ships,  and  of  sea 
officers  being  translated  into  officers  of  these  companies.  The  rank  of  the 
captain  corresponded  to  Enseigne  de  Vaisseau,  for  practical  purposes  as  well 
as  precedence.1 

The  conditions  at  Louisbourg  were  bad  for  the  officers  as  well  as  for  the 
men,  their  relations,  the  superior  making  pecuniary  profit  out  of  the  inferior, 
were  demoralizing  for  both  parties,  and  the  permanence  of  residence  for  both 
officers  and  men  added  another  to  the  many  causes  which  worked  against 
effectiveness.  There  were  few  changes  among  the  officers  except  by  death,  and 
in  the  quietude  of  Louisbourg,  man  after  man  rose  slowly  through  the  different 
grades,  placing  his  sons  in  the  same  service,  and  passed  away  without  at  any 
moment  discharging  the  serious  duties  of  his  profession.'  Eight  company 
officers  signed  the  declaration  of  taking  possession  in  1713,  the  descendants  of 
six  of  them  were  at  the  siege  in  1745,  and  in  addition  to  these,  many  of  the 
earlier  officers  were  represented  by  sons  and  grandsons  at  the  second  siege.  ' 
From  1713  to  1744  not  more  active  duty  was  required  of  these  officers  than 
garrison  service  in  the  town,  in  one  of  its  outposts,  or  an  occasional  mission  to 
Quebec  or  Boston.  Thus,  owing  to  the  trivial  distances  they  travelled,  to  that 
extraordinary  genius  of  the  French  for  dealing  with  the  aborigines,  they  had 
neither  the  training  in  adventurous  journeys  nor  in  the  diplomacy  which  the 
transforming  into  permanent  allies  of  new  tribes  gave  to  the  officer  serving  in 
Canada.  The  glimpses  which  they  got  of  France  in  the  leave  which  many  of 
them  enjoyed,  brought  them  in  touch  from  time  to  time  with  social  conditions 
different  from  their  own.  The  effect  of  such  visits  was  transitory.  The  per- 
manent pressure  on  the  individual  came  from  the  standards  of  a  small  place, 
with  its  relationships  of  blood,  marriage,  and  the  social  and  official  adjustments 
which  propinquity  forces  on  the  members  of  an  isolated  community.  The 
fishing  which  the  officers  carried  on  in  their  own  names  in  1717,  and  not 
improbably  through  other  parties  to  a  later  time,  brought  them  into  touch  with 
the  bourgeois  merchants,  marriages  took  place,  and  in  time  we  find  children  of 
these  merchants  and  of  civil  officials  serving  as  officers  of  these  companies.  In 

1   St.  Ovide  in  1-32  was  made  a  post-captain  in  the  navy  (B,  vol.  5-). 

1714-1758  REGULATIONS  OF  TRADE  49 

every  respect  the  conditions  were  unfavourable  to  professional  and  social 
development,  so  that  the  readiness  for  service  and  the  zeal  we  find  in  many 
instances  is  satisfactory  evidence  of  the  tough  fibre  of  sound  moral  qualities.  In 
one  instance,  that  of  Joseph  de  Catalogne,  an  officer  spent  his  leisure  in 
scientific  studies  to  such  effect  that  his  treatise  on  the  magnet  gained  for  him  a 
seat  in  the  Academic  des  Sciences.  Some  of  these  officers  had  some  training  as 
engineers,  and  although  the  fortifications  of  Louisbourg  were  in  charge  of  an 
engineer  sent  out  from  France,  these  officials  assisted  him  and  were  in  charge  of 
the  fortifications  which  were  built  at  the  outports.  The  Couange  family  were 
in  this  position,  and  the  work  of  some  other  young  officers  was  praised  by  the 
authorities,  while  incidentally  it  may  be  mentioned  that  Lartigue,  the  King's 
storekeeper,  an  amateur  engineer,  displayed  skill  during  the  first  siege,  and  there 
remains  to  us  an  admirable  map  of  the  siege  of  1758  which  is  his  handiwork.1 
The  garrison  was  further  supplemented  by  some  half  companies  of  the  Swiss 
regiment  of  Karrer,  which  was  first  formed  in  1719,  and  included  in  its  ranks 
many  deserters  from  foreign  regiments.  It  was  in  1720  transferred  to  the 
department  of  the  navy,  and  thereafter  detachments  were  sent  out,  not  only  to 
Louisbourg,  but  to  the  southern  colonies  of  France.  One  of  the  advantages  of 
these  troops  was  that  they  were  a  relief  to  those  of  France,  and  furnished  a  larger 
proportion  of  skilled  workmen  than  could  be  found  among  the  recruits  for  the 
French  companies. 

The  industry  for  which  this  organization  was  established,  the  fisheries,  and 
for  the  protection  of  which  not  only  was  the  garrison  maintained  but  fortifications 
were  built,  was  carried  on  both  by  vessels  filled  out  in  France  and  by  merchants 
resident  in  Louisbourg  and  its  outports.2 

A  complicated  trade  of  this  kind,  in  which  the  Government  undertook  to 
regulate  wages  and  prices  of  the  product,  gave  rise  to  much  controversy.  The 
disposition  of  the  local  authorities  was  naturally  to  favour  the  merchants  and 
fishermen  of  the  place  against  their  competitors  who  came  out  for  the  season. 
Regulations  were  passed  against  the  traders  from  France  remaining  all  winter, 
against  their  selling  at  retail.3  The  French  merchants  as  well  as  the  natives 
complained  of  a  tax,  following  the  precedent  of  Placentia,  of  a  quintal  of  fish 
from  each  boat  for  the  support  of  the  hospital.  The  Board  gave  way  to  the 
representations  of  the  merchants,  and  it  was  not  till  some  years  later  that  the  tax 
was  imposed.  So  far  did  St.  Ovide  at  a  later  date  carry  his  favouring  of  local 
enterprise  that  the  trade  with  Quebec  received  a  most  serious  check  on  account 
of  the  regulations  that  vessels  from  Canada  should  not  leave  port  with  their 
cargoes  unsold.  This  placed  them  at  the  mercy  of  a  ring  of  local  buyers,  so  that 

1  Arch,  de  la  M.  Sec.  Hydro,  herein  reproduced. 

2  For  details  of  this  trade  see  Chapter  XII.  3  Those  were  disallowed  by  the  Navy  Board. 



the  Quebec  vessels  ceased  for  a  time  to  come  to  Louisbourg.  Regulations  were 
also  attempted  to  prevent  larger  vessels  from  fishing  near  the  port,  as  it  interfered 
with  boat  fishing,  and,  in  short,  in  every  one  of  these  early  years  are  to  be  found 
instances  of  flagrant  violation  of  Colbert's  maxim,  that  entire  liberty  in  trade 
should  be  allowed  to  those  whom  alone  the  State  recognized,  its  own  citizens. 

Under  these  conditions  and  with  this  administration  proceeded  the  develop- 
ment of  the  Colony.  It  was  decided,  probably  on  account  of  the  complaints 
against  his  regulations,  that  Soubras  should  return  to  Dunkerque.  His  career 
had  certainly  not  been  marked  by  success,  but  his  correspondence  gives  the 
impression  that  he  was  efficient,  although  not  forceful,  for  most  of  the  steps  he 
had  taken  for  what  he  had  considered  the  welfare  of  the  Colony  were  either 
disallowed  by  superior  authority  or  proved  ineffective.  A  petition  from  the 
people  asking  that  he  should  be  retained  in  Cape  Breton  was  forwarded  to  France, 
but  de  Mezy,  who  was  on  the  retired  list  as  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  was 
appointed  to  the  position  in  1718.  He  did  not,  however,  come  out  until  the 
following  year. 

In  the  summer  of  1716  L'Hermitte  returned  to  Cape  Breton  and  made  an 
expedition  to  Sable  Island,  rumours  having  reached  the  Court  that  its  settlement 
might  be  possible.  But  then,  as  now,  these  shifting  sand-banks  were  but  a  menace 
to  the  navigator.  A  vessel  from  Quebec,  with  a  valuable  cargo,  had  been  lost 
there  in  1713,  only  two  of  her  crew  escaping  to  the  Island,  whence  they  were 
rescued  by  a  New  England  vessel.1  L'Hermitte  also  made  some  plans  of  Louis- 
bourg and  Port  Toulouse  and  in  the  autumn  returned  to  Paris.  Beaucours,  who 
succeeded  him,  was  apparently  not  more  satisfactory  as  an  engineer,  and  his 
estimates,  like  those  of  L'Hermitte,  were  considered  excessive.  He  was  moved 
from  headquarters  at  Port  Dauphin  to  Port  Toulouse  as  major,  and  the  Sieur 
Verville  was  sent  out  from  France  as  engineer  in  charge  of  the  fortifications. 
The  instructions  given  to  him  were  to  examine  the  places,  to  fortify  Louisbourg 
against  a  sudden  attack  until  the  works  at  Port  Dauphin  were  completed,  to 
prepare  complete  plans  and  estimates  of  cost  for  the  three  places,  and  before 
returning  to  France  to  leave  instructions  for  the  preparation  of  materials.  He 
was  advised  not  to  forget  that  it  is  not  necessary  to  fortify  on  so  large  a  scale  in 
the  colonies  as  in  Europe.  The  special  grant  for  this  year  was  sixty  thousand 

Verville,  to  whom  these  instructions2  were  given  in  June,  visited  Isle  Royale 
in  the  autumn  and  returned  to  France,  where  he  made  a  report  to  the  Board.  His 
plans  and  estimates  for  the  fortifications  were  accepted  and  work  was  begun.8 

1   Among  those  lost  wai  the  Marquis  d'Alogny,  commander  of  the  troops  in  Canada. 
1  June  23,  1716,  M.  St.  M.  vol.  51.  3  July  3,  1717. 

i7i7  VERVILLE'S  PLANS  51 

The  Board  directed  that  the  works  at  Louisbourg,  notwithstanding  the  previous 
decisions  which  made  Port  Dauphin  the  seat  of  government,  should  be  first  gone 
on  with.  .  At  the  former  place  Verville  took  as  the  key  of  his  system  of  fortifica- 
tions the  little  hillock  which  dominates  the  peninsula  as  well  as  the  plain  of 
Gabarus  lying  to  the  westward,  and  established  there  a  bastion-redoubt  in  masonry, 
which  was  to  contain  a  barracks  for  at  least  six  companies  and  their  officers,  and 
was  to  be  protected  from  a  surprise  by  a  ditch  and  covered  way.  Other  bastions 
were  to  be  built  at  the  two  hills  found  between  this  point  and  the  sea  ;  another 
on  the  hillock  "  E  "  on  the  harbour  side,  where  a  demi-bastion  would  protect  this 
end  of  the  works  as  well  as  cover  by  its  fire  the  adjacent  waters  of  the  port,  the 
whole  occupying  a  distance  of  something  over  one  thousand  yards  (495  toises). 

A  heavy  battery  was  to  be  established  at  the  point  "  K,"  which  would  sweep 
the  upper  part  of  the  harbour.  These,  all  of  which  were  to  be  executed  in 
fascines  and  connected  by  earth-works  (retranchements  de  campagne],  together 
with  the  Island  battery,  formed  the  basis  of  the  elaborate  system  of  fortifications 
which  on  the  same  principles  and  on  the  same  site,  were  carried  out  at  a  very 
considerable  expense  by  Verville  himself  and  his  successors.  The  map  opposite 
indicates  his  scheme,  and  incidentally  shows  the  site  of  the  town  to  have  at  that 
time  a  considerable  number  of  inhabitants. 

Verville,  owing  to  his  character  or  the  confidence  he  felt  in  the  security  of 
his  position,  did  not  confine  himself  to  a  narrow  interpretation  of  the  scope  of  his 
duties.  He  pointed  out  the  loss  of  time  in  the  troops  travelling  about  six  miles 
to  and  fro  between  the  barracks  and  their  work.  He  examined  for  himself  the 
shores  adjacent  to  the  town,  which  he  had  been  assured  were  inaccessible,  and 
found  that  in  five  places  it  was  possible  to  land  without  wetting  his  shoe,  thus 
proving  unfounded  the  opinion  of  St.  Ovide  and  Soubras  that  the  only  attack  to 
be  feared  was  by  the  harbour.  He  established  a  battery  at  "  K,"  afterwards 
known  as  the  Grand  or  Royal  Battery,  which  was  intended  to  sweep  both  the 
upper  part  of  the  harbour  and  its  entrance.  It  was  never  of  any  practical  use,  as 
it  was  exposed  on  the  land  side,  and  as  pointed  out  by  Chaussegros  de  Lery,  the 
engineer  of  Quebec,  a  fort  on  the  easterly  side,  near  the  site  on  which  the  light- 
house was  afterwards  built,  would  have  been  extremely  effective  in  the  defence 
of  the  place.1 

In  a  climate  like  that  of  Louisbourg,  masonry,  which  Verville  substituted  for 
provisional  earthwork  and  fascines,  was  not  only  expensive  to  build  but  costly  to 
maintain.  The  present  condition  of  the  earthworks  erected  along  the  coast  in 
1757  indicates  that  the  latter  system  of  construction  would  not  only  have  been 
vastly  cheaper  in  first  cost,  but  much  more  permanent,  and  as  the  results  proved, 
equally  effective  when  put  to  the  test.  In  minor  matters  his  observation  was  not 

1  MSS.  Que.  vol.  3,  p.  267. 

52  BEGINNINGS  OF  COMMERCE  1716-1718 

always  accurate.  He  thought,  for  example,  that  the  environs  of  Louisbourg  would 
supply  firewood  for  the  town  and  garrison  for  a  century,  and  yet  within  a  few 
years  we  find  the  greater  part  of  this  supply  brought  from  places  as  distant  as 
Port  Toulouse.  But  the  difficulty  of  ascertaining  the  resources  of  an  unknown 
and  heavily  wooded  country  is  shown  by  their  considering  the  value  of  the 
discovery  of  limestone  at  Canso  of  sufficient  importance  to  merit  a  gratuity  ;  by 
their  bringing  this  material  from  Port  Dauphin  to  Louisbourg,  and  by  their 
establishing  a  brickyard  at  Port  Toulouse.  It  is  now  known  that  limestone  is 
abundant  at  Barasois  de  Mir£  (Catalone  Lake),  about  six  miles  from  Louisbourg, 
and  on  the  Mire  River,  not  far  from  its  mouth,  is  a  bed  of  perfect  brick  clay.1 

The  notes  of  the  Navy  Board  frequently  quote  Verville's  opinions,  or  refer 
matters  to  him,  although  he  criticized  the  policy  of  the  Board  in  encouraging 
soldiers  to  settle.  The  chief  outcome  of  his  representations  on  extra-professional 
matters  was  the  forbidding  of  officers  to  engage  in  fishing,  which  was  enacted  in 
1718.  He  urged  this  course  on  the  Government  on  the  ground  that  it  was 
unprofitable  to  the  officers,  detrimental  to  their  soldiers,  and  unfair  to  the  civilians. 

The  first  year  of  the  settlement  (1714)  New  England  vessels  came  in  to 
trade.  St.  Ovide  bought  four  of  their  cargoes,  L'Hermitte  says,  a  fact  which 
he  deplores,  as  they  can  undersell  the  local  merchants  ;  but  similar  transactions 
are  not  noted  in  the  following  two  or  three  years.  St.  Ovide  says  four  or  five 
vessels  came  in  for  wood  and  water,  but  that  he  only  allowed  them  to  remain  for 
twenty-four  hours,  and  placed  on  each  a  sergeant  and  two  men  to  prevent  illicit 
trading.  In  September  1716  he  reports  that  an  English  frigate  visited 
Louisbourg  to  claim  eighty  deserters  from  Annapolis.  He,  mortified  that  his 
own  cellar  was  so  low  that  he  could  not  make  this  little  present,  allowed  the 
captain  to  buy  from  merchants  of  the  town  a  cask  of  wine  and  a  keg  of  brandy, 
for  which  molasses  was  exchanged.2 

This  was  the  frigate  Rose*  twenty  guns,  cruising  from  Boston,  seeking  for  deserters 
from  Annapolis  (Captain's  letters,  1596).  She  arrived  at  Louisbourg  on  the  2Qth  of  August, 
and  saluted  the  fort  with  eleven  guns,  which  was  properly  returned,  and  after  remaining 
there  till  the  /th  of  September  left  on  a  cruise  to  the  westward.  She  was  under  the  command 
of  Lieutenant  B.  Young.  He  reports  that  a  French  vessel  of  forty  guns,  which  was  the 
Attlante,  arrived  shortly  before  his  leaving.  Lieutenant  Young  occupied  part  of  his  time 
by  drawing  a  rough  map  of  the  port  and  the  operations  then  going  on,  which  is  now 
preserved  in  the  Colonial  Office,  London. 

Legitimate  trade  shows  its  first  beginnings  in  those  years.  A  vessel  from 
Martinique  was  wrecked  at  Isle  Madame.  Boularderie,  who  had  saved  the 
situation  in  1713  as  far  as  the  Quebec  supplies  and  garrison  were  concerned, 

1  These  were  used  after  1727  (B,  50,  f.  599).  J  I.R.  vol.  i,  p.  455.  l  B.T.N.S.  vol.  2,  p.  96. 


1716-1718  FAILURE  WITH  THE  ACADIANS  53 

branched  out  by  sending  a  vessel  for  molasses  for  the  supply  of  the  settlements.1 
The  authorities  at  Quebec  had  been  urged  to  establish  trade  with  Isle  Royale. 
This  was  carried  on  from  the  first,  an  important  part  of  it  being  supplies  of 
flour,  peas,  etc.,  for  the  troops,  which  were  annually  sent  except  in  years  of 
scarcity  in  Canada.  The  frigate  Attlante  loaded  coal  for  Rochefort,  and  the 
fishing  industry  was  prosecuted  by  an  increasing  number  of  vessels,  but  the 
trade  which  gave  the  authorities  the  greatest  concern  was  that  with  the  British 
colonies.  In  addition  to  the  New  England  vessels  a  constant  trade  was  carried 
on  by  way  of  the  Gulf  by  the  French  inhabitants  of  Nova  Scotia,  a  development 
which  was  foreseen  by  Mascarene  and  Bennett,  the  officers  who  had  accompanied 
La  Ronde  on  his  visit  to  these  settlements.  The  profitable  business  of  supply- 
ing Louisbourg  with  provisions  made  New  England  traders  indifferent  to 
regulations,  and  they  took  full  advantage  of  this  new  market.2 

The  transfer  of  the  Acadians  to  Cape  Breton,  so  ardently  hoped  for,  the 
advantages  of  which  were  recognized  by  both  the  French  and  English  as  of  the 
utmost  value  to  the  new  establishment,  became  year  by  year  more  obviously 
impossible.  One  reason,  and  perhaps  the  most  important,  next  to  the  dis- 
advantages of  Cape  Breton  from  their  standpoint  as  compared  with  Nova 
Scotia,  was  that  the  promises  of  the  French  Government  had  not  been  carried 
out  ;  possibly  many  of  the  other  reasons  alleged  by  them  for  remaining,  even 
under  distressing  conditions,  were  meant  to  conceal  the  real  one.  The  Regent's 
Council  was  annoyed  at  a  report  to  the  effect  that  some  of  those  who  had  worked 
for  the  King  had  not  been  paid,  a  report  which  Costebelle  denied.  Soubras 
described  them  as  a  people  naturally  froward,  distrustful,  and  irresolute,8  those 
of  them  who  had  rations  too  lazy  to  clear  land  even  for  a  garden  ;  the  first 
statement,  in  connection  with  Isle  Royale,  of  that  disparagement  of  the  colonial 
fellow-citizen  which  is  so  difficult  for  the  European  to  suppress.4 

Barrailh,  a  competent  officer,  thought  that  the  priests  were  at  the  bottom  of 
their  trouble,  as  they  could  more  completely  govern  these  people  and  live  at 
their  ease  in  Acadia,  but  that  if  they  were  moved  to  Isle  Royale  the  people 
would  follow  them.  Verville  showed  accuracy  of  observation  in  stating  that  he 
thought  the  Acadians  were  of  more  service  to  the  new  colony  where  they  were 
than  if  removed,  and  the  last  time  there  was  talk  of  sending  a  vessel  for  them 
was  in  the  instructions  given  to  Barrailh  to  go  in  the  Charente.  These 
instructions  were  as  usual  pacific,  and  ordered  him  to  take  every  care  to  avoid 
a  rupture  with  the  English  authorities.  He  was  not  sent  by  the  Louisbourg 

1  I.R.  vol.  i,  p.  455. 

2  The  traders  of  New  England  began  by  claiming  that  commerce  was  free  to  them,  possibly  a  misapprehension  as  to 
the  terms  of  the  Commercial  Treaty  of  Utrecht.     This,  however,  referred  only  to  the  European  territories  of  the  con- 
tracting parties,  and,  moreover,  never  went  into  effect,  as  its  ratification  was  refused  by  Parliament. 

3  "Ce  peuple  naturellment  indociles  diffiantes  et  irresolus."  4  I.R.  2,  p.  52- 


authorities,  but  instead,  the  Acadians  were  informed  that  if  they  came  in  their 
own  vessels  they  would  receive  a  welcome.  So  far  a  fall  from  the  promises  of 
de  la  Ronde  was  followed  by  an  equal  abatement  in  their  enthusiasm.  De  Mezy 
saw  they  would  not  leave  a  good  for  a  poor  country  ;  Father  de  la  Marche,  while 
sure  of  their  loyalty,  had  to  admit  that  they  would  not  leave  Nova  Scotia. 
Doucette,1  in  a  letter  to  St.  Ovide,  May  15,  1718,  took  the  view  that  the 
agreement  might  be  null  and  void  if  the  inhabitants  of  Nova  Scotia  desired,  if 
not,  that  speedy  orders  might  be  issued  to  provide  for  their  retirement  into  the 
dominions  of  France.  This  was  an  adequate  warrant  for  more  effective  steps 
than  any  of  the  authorities  at  Louisbourg  took.-  Had  they  removed  to  Isle 
Royale,  or  had  France  not  sought  to  retain  its  influence  over  them,  their 
subsequent  history  had  been  less  tragic.  The  danger  which  Vetch  feared3  passed 
away,  for  those  who  did  come  were  a  few  farmers,  many  idlers  who  were 
supported  by  the  Government,  and  a  certain  number  of  carpenters,  boat-builders, 
longshoremen,  and  tavern-keepers,  who  found  in  the  activities  of  Louisbourg 
more  profitable  employment  than  Nova  Scotia  afforded  them.  It  was  not  until 
Isle  St.  Jean  was  opened  up  that  any  considerable  number  of  them  again  lived 
under  the  French  Crown. 

Costebelle  sailed  from  Louisbourg  on  the  Attlanteon  the  1 2th  of  October  1716. 
Her  voyage  was  so  protracted  that  he  landed  at  Belle  Isle  no  earlier  than  Christmas 
Day.  A  week  later  he  was  at  Croisic,  whence  he  forwarded  the  dispatches  he 
had  brought,  as  he  was  so  ill  that  he  could  not  say  when  his  health  would 
permit  him  to  take  horse  for  Paris.4  His  business  was  to  obtain  a  settlement 
of  various  claims  he  had  against  the  Crown  for  outlays  at  Placentia,  which 
included  supplies  to  the  King's  stores,  the  sending  of  a  vessel  to  France  and 
one  to  Boston  with  La  Ronde  in  I7ii,5  in  that  curious  attempt  to  play  on  the 
republican  feelings  of  New  England  which  they  had  conceived  and  most  un- 
successfully carried  out  after  it  had  received  the  approval  of  Pontchartrain.  A 
more  important  item  was  that  of  1 8,000 1.  for  the  entertainment  of  the  English 
prisoners  at  his  table/'  The  total  amount  was  71,000,!.  but  his  vouchers  were 
inadequate,  and  there  were  outstanding  claims  against  him  respecting  the  spoils 
of  St.  John's  which  came  into  his.  possession  after  its  capture.7 

Costebelle  obtained  from  the  Regent  a  gratuity  of  2000!.,  and  he  remained 
in  France  for  some  months.  He  visited,  in  the  following  August,  his  birth-place, 
St.  Alexandre,  a  hamlet  on  the  borders  of  Languedoc,  which  from  the  highlands 
looks  down  on  Pont  St.  Esprit  and  the  valley  of  the  majestic  Rhone.  He 

1   Doucette  was  Lieut. -Governor  of  Nova  Scotia  from  1717  to  1726.  2  B.T.N.S.  vol.  2. 

3  P.  21.  •»  I.R.  i,  45-.  «  Mass.  Arch.  vol.  6. 

"  The  sum  »eems  large,  but  the  Governors  apparently  entertained  constantly.     St.  Ovide,  who  in    1717   had  not 
received  his  salary  for  1714,  says  that  at  his  table  were  always  twenty  to  twenty-four  persons. 
7  I.R.  5,  p.  n. 

1717  HIS  DEATH  55 

returned  to  Louisbourg  on  the  Attlante^  and  on  the  voyage  was  so  ill  that  on 
September  6,  1717,  in  a  shaky  hand,  he  made  his  will  leaving  500  1.  to  his  servant, 
the  chain  on  which  he  wore  his  Cross  of  St.  Louis  to  his  eldest  daughter,  and 
some  papers  to  his  brother.  The  fact  that  in  his  will  he  did  not  mention  his 
wife,  a  member  of  the  De  la  Tour  family,  a  widow  whom  he  had  married  in 
1 704,  at  Placentia,  indicates  his  feebleness  at  the  moment  and  the  embarrassment 
of  his  affairs.  He  was  an  affectionate  husband,  who  knew  the  heights  of  married 
felicity,  as  he  wrote  to  her  :  "  Sans  toi  je  ne  sc.aurois  gouter  que  des  plaisirs 
imparfaits,"  and  with  tender  courage  says,  "  Ne  t'embrasse  1' esprit  d'aucune 
affaire  bonne  ou  mauvais,  ma  plus  chere  amie  et  laisse-moi  supporter  les  con- 
tretemps que  la  fortune  peut  nous  prepare."  *  Though  in  this  same  letter  he 
says  that  he  will  extricate  her  from  her  troubles,  this  was  impossible.  He  died 
leaving  her  in  absolute  destitution.  Her  torments  at  the  hands  of  pitiless 
creditors,  until  she  left  Louisbourg  were,  says  St.  Ovide,  a  harrowing  spectacle.2 

On  the  death  of  Costebelle  he  was  succeeded  by  St.  Ovide,  a  dithyrambic 
petition  having  been  sent  to  the  Government  asking  for  his  appointment.  "  Oui, 
Monseigneur,  1'officier  et  le  soldat,  le  marchand  et  1'habitant,  Jes  pasteurs,  et 
leurs  troupeaux,  tous  elevent  leur  voix,  tous  forment  des  vceux  en  sa  faveur."8 
The  King's  lieutenancy,  made  vacant  by  his  promotion,  was  given  to  de 

The  work  on  the  fortifications  had  engaged  the  attention  of  the  authorities, 
but  up  to  this  time  they  had  been  carried  on  by  day's  labour  under  the 
supervision  of  the  engineer,  the  force  employed  being  the  troops  and  various 
artisans  sent  out  from  France  for  this  purpose.  Verville  complained  of  the 
extravagance  and  slow  progress  made,  and  the  council  determined  to  carry  on 
this  construction  by  contract.  The  work  was  put  up  to  tender  "  a  1'extinction 
de  bougie."  The  successful  bidder  was  a  Sieur  Isabeau  who  proceeded  to 
Louisbourg  on  the  first  King's  ship  which  went  out  in  the  following  year,  and 
took  over  the  work.4 

The  Council  of  the  Navy  had  promised,  after  the  disastrous  winter  of  1 7 1 5-1 6, 
that  such  conditions  would  not  be  permitted  to  occur  again  ;  but  after  a  famine 
in  1717  so  bad  that  the  troops  at  Port  Toulouse  were,  in  the  spring,  reduced  to 
bread  and  water,5  in  1718  conditions  were  again  so  desperate,  there  being  in 
the  colony  only  two  hundredweight  of  bread  for  four  thousand  people,  that 
after  contemplating  sending  the  entire  garrison  back  to  France  or  Acadia,6 

1  Bib.  Nat.  N.A.  F,  3283. 

2  Madame  Costebelle  found  on  presenting  her  claims  to  the  Regent  that  Costebelle  had  taken  the  gratuity  referred 
in  satisfaction  of  them.     She,  however,  received  a  pension  which  she  drew  for  many  years.     The  Alphabet  Laffilard  says  he 
died  in  France,  but  in  this  seems  inaccurate.     His  effects  at  Louisbourg  were  sold  in  1720  for  the  benefit  of  his  creditors. 

3  I.R.  vol.  2,  f.  217.  4  B,  40,  f.  538$,  June  28,  1718.  5  I.R.  2,  f.  243. 

8  St.  Ovide  abandoned  the  idea  of  sending  them  to  settlements  about  Chignecto,  as  it  might  give  umbrage  to  the 


St.  Ovide  took  the  step  of  sending  most  of  it  to  Quebec  for  the  winter.  He 
thus  left  in  Louisbourg,  at  a  time  which  the  events  to  be  recounted  in  the  next 
chapter  will  show  was  a  critical  one,  only  some  one  hundred  and  forty-one 
soldiers.  The  change,  however,  in  economic  conditions  was  so  swift  that  the 
next  year,  October  1719,  Barrailh,  who  was  again  out  in  Isle  Royale,  says  that 
there  were  seventy  vessels  in  the  island,  which  made  bread,  wine,  and  brandy 
cheaper  in  Louisbourg  than  in  France.  This  is  generally  confirmed  by 
Bradstreet,  an  officer  of  the  English  garrison  at  Canso,  writing  to  the  Board 
of  Trade  in  1725  saying,  "he  was  familiar  with  Louisbourg,  and  had  found 
there  so  many  vessels  from  New  England  and  Nova  Scotia  that  two  sheep  could 
be  bought  there  for  the  price  of  one  at  Canso.1 

The  development  of  the  town  is  seen  not  only  in  the  increase  of  its 
population  but  by  the  various  regulations  which  were  made  from  time  to  time  ; 
on  the  military  side  forbidding  the  erection  of  any  buildings  or  the  planting  of 
trees  within  a  distance  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  toises  from  the  fortifications  ; 
on  the  commercial,  by  the  regulations  against  the  erection  of  houses  higher  than 
seven  feet  in  the  post  in  order  that  the  free  circulation  of  air,  essential  to  the 
successful  drying  of  fish,  might  not  be  hampered  ;  on  the  civil  side  by  forbidding, 
on  account  of  the  danger  of  fire,  the  covering  of  the  houses  with  bark.  The 
town  was  laid  out  and  a  plan  made,2  and  lands  were  granted  to  the  people  under 
the  condition  that  within  a  year  and  a  day  the  land  should  be  occupied  (d'y  tenir 
feu  et  lieu). 

The  streets  of  the  new  town  were  narrow.  Outside  of  Italian  cities  of  this 
period  but  few  towns  were  drained,  and  had  it  not  been  for  the  salubrity  of  the 
air  of  Cape  Breton  conditions  at  Louisbourg  would  have  been  unwholesome. 
The  fishing  industry  is  not  a  cleanly  one  ;  the  sheep  and  goats  of  the  people 
were  kept  by  a  public  herd,  who  received  soldier's  ration  and  small  pay,  but  the 
pigs  ran  at  large.  An  ordinance  was  passed  empowering  any  one  to  kill  them  if 
they  destroyed  property.  The  regulation  states  that  "  they  damage  the  drying 
fish  and  the  poultry,  and  are  even  so  ferocious  that  there  is  danger  sometimes 
for  little  children." 

The  necessity  for  an  hospital  was  recognized  from  the  first,  although  the 
tax  proposed  by  Soubras  for  its  support  was  disallowed.  The  treatment  given 
was  unsatisfactory  to  the  people.  The  Bayle  et  Jurats  of  St.  Jean  de  Luz  and 
one  La  Mothe,  a  merchant  representing  the  people  of  Louisbourg,  appeared 
before  the  Board.  In  the  course  of  their  representations  they  stated  that  the 
hospital  was  useless,  as  the  people  went  to  the  ship's  surgeons  or  used  Indian 

English.  That  he  contemplated  doing  so  would  seem  to  bear  the  same  construction  as  La  Ronde,  Denys,  and  de  Penseni 
not  visiting  these  settlements  in  1714,  namely,  that  there  was  no  doubt  in  the  minds  of  any  of  them  that  they  were  in 
French  territory. 

1   B.T.N'.S.  vol.  2.  s  The  plan  ordered  in  1718  did  not  finally  receive  ministerial  sanction  until  1723. 

1714-1730  EXCESSIVE  DRINKING  57 

remedies  in  place  of  those  supplied  by  the  two  local  surgeons,  and  they  did  not 
hesitate  to  .  say  that  Soubras  turned  the  funds  to  his  own  use.  The  Board 
endeavoured  to  improve  matters.  They  ordered  that  one  of  the  best  surgeons 
be  sent  from  Brest,  as  the  reports  of  La  Grange  and  Le  Roux,  who  had  come 
from  Placentia,  were  unsatisfactory.  It  was  also  decided  to  place  the  hospital 
in  the  charge  of  the  Freres  de  la  Charite,1  four  of  whom  had  come  out  in  1716. 

A  conflict  of  jurisdiction  had  arisen  in  ecclesiastical  matters.  Spiritual 
affairs  in  Placentia  had  been  under  Recollets  of  Brittany,  and  Father  Dom.  de 
la  Marche  had  come  with  the  first  settlers  ;  but  the  Bishop  of  Quebec,  whose 
diocese  included  Nova  Scotia  and  Isle  Royale,  had  appointed  the  Recollets  of 
Paris  to  this  cure.  The  civil  authorities  temporized  with  the  matter,  and  allotted 
the  spiritual  care  of  the  Acadians  and  the  services  of  the  King's  chapel  to  the 
latter,  while  the  general  population  was  served  by  monks  of  Brittany,  who  finally 
remained  in  possession  of  the  field.2  The  importance  of  the  Basque  element  in 
the  population  was  recognized  by  sending  out  a  priest  of  that  nationality. 

The  chief  drawback  to  the  prosperity  of  Louisbourg  was  unquestionably 
drink.  It  impressed  Verville  so  much  that  he  says,  in  explaining  the  in- 
effectiveness of  the  work  going  on,  that  the  troops  who  should  be  at  work 
escape  daily  to  roam  the  woods  and  to  get  drunk,  far  in  excess  of  these 
European  nations  who  were  given  to  drink. 

Soubras  battled  with  the  evil  and  proposed  and  tried  many  expedients. 
Fines,  rewards  to  informers,  and  severe  punishments  of  those  who  would  not 
tell  where  they  obtained  drink,  were  the  obvious  measures.  He  tried  also  the 
prohibition  of  the  officers'  canteens,  in  which  drink  was  sold  to  the  soldiers,  but 
found  that  this  simply  increased  the  number  of  groggeries.  He  endeavoured  to 
restrict  the  sale  to  six  of  the  principal  people  of  the  place,  but  found  that  these 
would  not  act,  and  he  anticipated  the  Gothenburg  system  by  proposing  that  the 
sale  should  be  exclusively  in  the  hands  of  the  Government.  In  some  of  these 
proposals  he  received  the  support  of  the  Board,  but  the  result  justified  Costebelle's 
view  that  nothing  effective  could  be  done  until  more  settled  conditions  prevailed. 

The  echoes  of  the  Regent's  experiments  were  heard  in  Louisbourg,  and 
Law's  Mississippi  Company  was  imitated  in  these  northern  islands.  M. 
Poupet  de  la  Boularderie,  formerly  an  officer  in  the  Navy  and  in  the  troops  of 
Acadia,  but  for  many  years  a  trader,  was  given  a  grant  of  that  beautiful  and 
fertile  island  which  lies  between  the  great  and  little  entrances  to  the  Bras  d'Or 
Lakes.  It  still  perpetuates  his  name.  His  grant  also  included  the  opposite 
southern  shore  to  a  league  in  depth,  the  island  at  Ingonish,  exclusive  beach 

1  This  was  a  religious  fraternity  founded  in  1540  by  the  Portuguese,  St.  Jean  de  Dieu,  at  Granada  in  Spain,  thence 
it  spread  to  Italy  and  in  1601  to  France.  It  was  of  sufficient  eminence  to  have  charge  of  the  hospitals  de  la  Charite  in 
Paris  and  at  Charenton.  2  Their  letters  patent  were  not  sent  out  until  1731  (B,  55,  f.  577). 

58  GRANTS  OF  SEIGNORIES  1718-1724 

rights  for  one  hundred  fishers,  and  the  use  of  the  King's  ship  Le  Paon  for  two 
years.1  He  undertook  to  place  one  hundred  settlers  the  first  year,  fifty  the 
next,  and  employ  one  hundred  fishermen.  He  was  given  command  for  the 
King  in  his  lands,  and  a  "safe  conduct"  for  three  months,  that  delightful 
opposite  of  the  lettre  de  cachet,  which  during  its  currency  made  its  holder 
superior  to  all  judicial  and  police  mandates.  He  proceeded  vigorously  to  the 
development  of  his  grant,  first  by  his  unaided  efforts,  which  were  undertaken 
on  so  great  a  scale  that  he  contemplated  the  building  of  a  ship  of  twelve  hundred 
tons  ;  but,  hampered  by  the  shipwreck  of  one  of  his  vessels  in  the  St.  Lawrence, 
and  the  exhaustion  of  his  funds,  he  turned  his  grant  over  to  a  company  of 
Malouin  merchants,  with  whom  he  quarrelled.2  He  formed  another  company 
in  Havre  and  Rouen,  which  accomplished  little,  so  that  at  his  death  in  1738  it 
was  a  question  whether  the  grant  of  the  property  would  be  confirmed  to  his 
son.3  There  had  been  obtained  for  his  son  in  early  life  a  position  as  a  page 
in  the  household  of  Her  Royal  Highness,  the  Duchesse  d'Orleans.  When  he 
had  outgrown  this  position  at  Court,  he  obtained  a  lieutenancy  in  the  regiment 
of  Richelieu,  and  after  a  service  of  seven  years  obtained  a  company  therein. 
When  the  aged  Berwick,  that  able  general  whom  the  deposed  Stuarts  had  given 
to  France,  led  her  armies  to  victory  over  the  Austrians,  Boularderie  went 
through  the  campaigns  of  Kehl,  Phillippsbourg,  and  Clauzen.  Then,  through 
a  reverse  of  fortune,  he  had  to  sell  his  company,  but  retained  the  assistance  of 
that  grand  Seigneur,  the  Due  de  Richelieu.  The  death  of  his  father  followed 
shortly  afterwards,  and  the  concessions  being  confirmed  to  .him,  Boularderie 
came  out  to  Isle  Royale,  with  the  remains  of  his  personal  fortune,  the  proceeds 
of  the  sale  of  a  house  in  Paris.  He  brought  with  him  husbandmen  and  craftsmen 
from  Normandy,  and  according  to  his  own  account  was  most  successful.  "  I 
have  in  my  employment  twenty- five  persons,  a  very  handsome  house,  barn, 
stable,  dairy,  dovecot,  and  oven,  wind  and  water-mills,  twenty-five  cows  and 
other  live  stock."  He  grew  wheat,  in  1740  he  had  150  bbls.  of  fine  wheat 
and  vegetables  as  in  Europe,  and  had  a  large  orchard  and  a  garden,  but  disasters 
befell  him  in  this  charming  establishment. 

The  earlier  grants  of  the  islands  in  the  Gulf,  St.  Jean  and  the  Magdalens, 
having  been  finally  revoked  in  1710,  a  Count  St.  Pierre  took  advantage  of  his 
position  at  Court,  that  of  first  Equerry  to  the  Duchesse  d'Orleans,  to  obtain  a 
grant  and  found  a  company  for  the  development  of  these  islands.  His  enterprise 
was  unsuccessful.  The  merchants  of  St.  Malo  protested  so  vigorously  against 
the  exercise  by  the  company  of  its  exclusive  fishing  rights,  and  their  protection 

1   Feb.  15,  1719,  B,  vol.  41,  f.  565.  2  Cor.  (Canada),  C,  n,  64,  172^ 

3  One  account  speaks  of  the  older  Boularderie  as  captain  in   Acadia  in    1702,  his  grant   describes  him  as  Enseigne  de 
Vaisseau.      He  was  given  a  frigate  in  1713  for  trading.  *  Dernieri  Jcun  de  I'sicadie,  p.  287. 


by  an  armed  vessel  (ij22^1  that  these  rights  were  curtailed,  and  notwithstanding 
the  loan  of  artillery  and  an  officer,  the  enterprise  was  abandoned  in  1724  and 
these  islands  reunited  to  the  royal  domain  in  1730,  the  fear  of  a  seignorial 
establishment  having,  in  the  interval,  retarded  the  settlement  of  the  island  by 
the  Acadians.2  M.  Ruette  D'Auteuil,  after  a  stormy  career  in  Canada,  where  he 
had  been  at  one  time  Procureur-General  at  Quebec^  also  received  a  grant  of 
Isle  Madame  on  substantially  the  same  conditions  of  settlement,  but  no  vigorous 
efforts  were  made  at  colonization.  After  some  years  St.  Ovide  reported  that  it 
had  also  failed,  and  expressed  his  disapproval  of  the  system.  These  companies, 
like  their  great  prototype,  added  three  to  the  long  list  of  failures,  both  French 
and  English,  to  establish  in  America  the  profitable  corporate  administration 
of  land. 

At  last  the  question  of  the  chief  establishment  of  the  colony  was  to  be 
permanently  settled.  St.  Ovide  had  been  much  impressed  by  the  advantages  of 
Port  Toulouse  on  his  tour  through  the  island,  thus  confirming  the  good  opinion 
it  had  made  on  him  in  1714,  and  now  recommended  it  warmly  to  the  Council, 
and  asked  them  to  hear  Rouville,  who  was  in  France,  and  to  appoint  a  commission 
to  make  a  report  on  the  matter.3 

This  suggestion  was  supported  by  two  petitions.  One,  which  described 
Louisbourg  as  a  bottomless  pit  for  funds,  was  signed  by  officials  ;  the  other  by 
the  principal  inhabitants.  The  latter  stated  that  so  soon  after  coming  from 
Placentia  and  other  places,  they  were  unable  to  bear  the  expense  of  a  second 
moving,  but  if  the  King  would  pay  the  actual  cost,  they  would  gladly  go  to 
Port  Toulouse,  and  leave  behind  the  tavern-keepers,  who  made  up  two-thirds  of 
the  population  of  Louisbourg.4  The  reply  to  these  petitions,  which  reflect,  on 
account  of  his  position,  perhaps  little  more  than  the  personal  opinion  of  the 
Governor,  was  in  the  negative.  Louisbourg  was  made  the  principal  place,  the 
irst  indication  of  which  had  been  the  mounting  of  six  guns  in  1719.  But  to 
mark  the  decision  as  final,  a  medal  commemorating  its  founding  and  fortification 
was  designed  and  struck,  and  in  the  following  year  it  was  placed  in  the 
foundation  of  the  King's  bastion.  Six  years  had  passed  in  uncertainty.  Isle 
Royale  had  repeated  the  mistakes  previously  made  in  Canada  and  Louisiana, 
jainst  which  Villien  had  warned  the  Minister  without  success.  However,  the 
question  was  at  last  settled,  the  administration  was  concentrated  there,  and  was 
coincident  with  De  Mezy's  taking  the  place  of  Soubras.  The  troops  were 
brought  together  from  the  outports,  with  the  exception  of  small  detachments, 
md  a  renewal  of  discipline  was  hoped  for,  and  in  some  measure  attained. 

1  C,  ii,  vol.  12,  p.  78.  2  May  1720,  I.R.  vol.  5,  f.  56.  3  I.R.  vol.  4,  Jan.  9,  1719. 

*  This  indicates  again  the  prevalence  of  drinking,  as  does  an  earlier  letter  of  St.  Ovide  and   Soubras,  who  speak  of 
"Cabaretiers  qui  ruinent  entierrement  la  colonnie,"  Nov.  13,  1717  (I.R.  vol.  2). 


ARCHIVES    DU    CANADA— ISLE    ROYALE.     (I.R.  vol.  i  (St.)  Ottawa.) 


II  y  en  a  sept  a  PIsle  Royale  dans  chacune  desquelles,  il  y  a  un  Capitaine,  un 
Lieutenant  et  un  Enscigne,  deux  Sergents,  deux  caporaux,  quarante-cinq  soldats,  et  un 

II  leur  est  delivre  tous  les  ans  un  habillement,  une  anncc  le  grand  habillement  et 
Pannce  suivante  le  petit. 

Le  grand  habillement  consiste  en  un  justaucorps,  une  culotte,  deux  chemises,  deux 
cravatcs,  un  chapeau,  une  paire  de  bas  et  deux  paires  de  souliers. 

Le  petit  habillement  consiste  en  une  veste,  une  culotte,  deux  chemises,  deux  cravates, 
un  chapeau,  une  paire  de  bas  et  deux  paires  de  souliers. 

Ces  habillcments  ne  doivent  estre  d£livr£s  qu'aux  efFectifs  et  on  conserve  le  surplus 
dans  les  magasins  pour  les  recrues. 

La  ration  du  sergent  et  du  soldat  est  par  jour  d'une  livre  et  demie  de  pain,  quatre  onces 
de  lard  cru  ou  demy  livre  de  boeuf,  quatre  onces  de  16gumes,  un  quarteron  de  beurre  et  cinq 
livres  de  m£lasse  par  mois. 

Cette  ration  est  plus  forte  qu'en  Canada  ou  il  ne  se  delivre  au  soldat  par  jour  qu'une 
livre  et  demie  de  pain  et  un  quarteron  de  lard,  cette  augmentation  a  £t6  accorded  4 
Plaisance  a  cause  du  mauvais  pays  et  continue1  a  1'Isle  Royale  par  rapport  au  nouvel 
Etablissement,  quand  le  pays  sera  establi  on  la  diminuera. 

11  est  retenu  pour  l'habillement  et  ration  par  mois  au  Sergent  9  ft".  ios.,  au  Caporal 
7  ff.  ios.  et  au  soldat  7  ft",  ios.  de  sorte  qu'il  reste  de  solde  toute  deduction  faire,  except^ 
celle  des  45.  pour  livre,  au  Sergent  13  ff.  par  mois,  au  Caporal  6  ft",  et  au  soldat  305. 

La  distribution  de  Phabillement,  des  vivres  et  de  la  solde  regarde  le  Commissaire 

Tout  le  militaire  regarde  le  Gouverneur  de  1'Isle  et  les  fonctions  de  1'un  et  de  1'autre 
sont  les  mcmes  que  celles  du  Gouverneur  Gdndral  et  de  1'Intendant  du  Canada. 

THE  CROSS  OF  ST.  Louis 

The  correspondence  of  all  the  French  officers  shows  an  eagerness  for  the  Cross  of 
St.  Louis.  This  order  was  founded  by  Louis  XIV.  in  1693.  There  had  been  up  to  that 
time  only  two  orders — that  of  St.  Michel,  founded  by  Louis  XI.  in  1469,  and  the  Saint 
Esprit,  founded  by  Henri  III.,  1578-79,  the  former  of  which  had  fallen  into  such  discredit 
that  Henry  gave  command  that  none  should  be  admitted  to  the  splendid  order  he  was 
founding  save  Knights  of  St.  Michel  ;  therefrom  springs  the  expression  so  common  under 
the  splendid  portraits  of  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries,  designating  the  subject 
as  of  "  the  King's  Orders."  The  restrictions  of  the  Order  of  Saint  Esprit  to  those  of  lofty 
descent  left  Louis  XIV.  without  means  of  honouring  the  many  officers  who  distinguished 
themselves  in  his  service,  so  the  Order  of  St.  Louis  was  founded.  The  King  was  Grand 
Master,  the  Dauphin  or  heir-presumptive  to  the  throne  was  a  member,  there  were  eight 
Grand  Cross,  twenty-four  Commanders,  who  could  only  be  admitted  as  Knights,  and  as 
many  Knights  as  the  King  might  designate.  It  was  reserved  to  Catholics,  officers  on  sea 
or  land  who  had  served  for  ten  years. 


Admission  to  the  order  carried  pensions  of  considerable  value.  As  the  order  was  at 
first  constituted  the  junior  Knights,  thirty-two  had  a  pension  of  800  1.  j  forty-eight, 
loool. ;  twenty-four  higher,  1500!.;  and  the  highest  twenty,  2000  1.  ;  but  in  1719  the 
Regent  increased  the  number  of  Chevaliers  from  128  to  413,  with  pensions  decreasing 
from  2OOO  1.  to  200 1.  The  recipient  at  his  induction  knelt,  swore  to  serve  the  King 
faithfully,  and  no  other  sovereign  without  permission,  that  he  was  a  Catholic,  and  that 
he  would  live  as  a  good,  wise,  virtuous,  and  valiant  Knight  ;  the  Governor  drew  his  sword, 
touched  him  on  each  shoulder  and  delivered  to  him  the  order,  which  he  was  to  wear  on  a 
flame-coloured  ribbon  on  his  chest.  At  the  death  of  a  Chevalier  his  Cross  was  returned. 
The  large  number  of  Chevaliers  of  the  Order  led  to  abuses,  and  apparently  at  Louisbourg  it 
came  almost  to  be  a  question  of  length  of  service.  In  1749  it  was  so  common  in  France 
that,  apparently  up  to  that  time  there  had  been  no  danger  in  representing  oneself  as 
belonging  to  the  Order.  In  consequence  an  "ordonnance"  was  issued  forbidding  the 
wearing  its  Cross  without  authority.1  The  pensions  do  not  seem  to  have  been  paid 
regularly.  An  interesting  list  of  the  Louisbourg  refugees  at  Rochefort  about  1763,  which 
gives  particulars  of  the  officers,  their  families,  their  debts  and  resources,  in  no  case  mentions 
the  pension  of  the  Chevaliers  as  a  source  of  income,  and  in  the  lively  conversation  of  Le 
Neveu  de  Rameau  reference  is  made  to  the  destitution  of  some  of  the  Chevaliers. 

1  Its  history  in  three  vols.,  VOrdre  de  St-Louis,  has  been  written  by  A.  Mazas,  Paris,  1860.  A  number  of  the  Isle 
Royal  Chevaliers  are  not  noted  in  the  lists  he  gives.  A  list  of  officers  of  Louisbourg,  1744-63  (Arch.  Col.  D  4) 
shows  that  the  Majors,  Aide-Majors,  and  every  Captain  of  ten  years'  service  had  received  the  Cross,  usually  at  the  end  of 
that  time. 


WHILE  fishing  was  vigorously  prosecuted  from  Louisbourg  and  its  neighbouring 
outports,  the  French  fishermen  at  Isle  Madame  and  the  ports  to  the  westward 
came,  during  these  years,  in  contact  with  those  of  New  England  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Canso.  English  fishermen  had  freely  used  the  harbours  of 
Isle  Royale,  but  it  soon  came  to  pass  that  both  French  and  English  used  the 
port  of  Canceau,  or,  in  its  modern  form,  Canso,  situated  on  an  island  separated 
only  by  the  narrowest  of  waterways  from  the  mainland  of  Nova  Scotia.  The 
French  had  frequented  it  for  a  century  and  a  half.1 

In  1717  there  were  six  French  and  five  English  fishing  stations  there. 
The  next  year  St.  Ovide  gave  orders  to  the  French  to  withdraw,  but  was  begged 
by  the  New  Englanders  to  leave  them,  as  the  latter  were  threatened  by  the 
Indians.-  In  August,  George  Vaughan,  formerly  Governor  of  New  Hampshire, 
was  at  Canso,  and  found  "  all  things  peaceable  and  quiet,  the  French  and 
English  fishing  with  all  friendship  and  love." 

Some  of  the  Canso  people  had,  in  June,  petitioned  the  Council  of 
Massachusetts  to  the  effect  that  the  French  were  using  Canso,  and  had 
threatened  the  English  with  removal.4  The  petitioners  had  thought  it  their 
duty  to  represent  this  state  of  affairs  to  the  Council,  so  that  the  rights  of 
Englishmen  might  not  be  infringed.  The  authorities  thereupon  sent  to  Canso 
Captain  Smart  of  the  frigate  Squirrel,  which  had  been  sent  to  protect  the 
shipping  of  North  America  from  pirates.  His  instructions  were  to  inquire  into 
the  truth  of  the  French  encroachments.  He  carried  a  letter  from  Shute, 
Governor  of  Massachusetts,  to  St.  Ovide,  that  Shute  expected  him  to 
"  immediately  order  the  French  under  his  command  to  pull  down  their  Hutts 
and  also  not  to  fish  any  more  upon  y't  shoar."  5 

Smart  arrived  at  Canso  on  September  6,  left  on  the  7th  for  Louisbourg, 
where  he  had  a  conference  with  St.  Ovide.  The  accounts  of  this  interview 

1   A  Captain  Savalcttc  of  St.  Jean  He  Luz  was  living  a  little  to  the  west  of  Canso  in   1565. 

8  The  French  were  inclined   to  believe  the   territory  was  English  ;   English  authorities   that  it  was  French.       I.R. 
vol.  3,  and  the  Commissioners  of  Trade  to  Townhend,  March  14,  1721. 

s  C.O.  5/867.  «  C.O.  5/793.  »  C.O.  5/867.     Ad.  Sec.  In  Letters,  vol.  2542. 



given,  on  the  one  hand,  by  Smart  and  Southack,1  and,  on  the  other,  by  St. 
Ovide,  are  irreconcilable.  The  Squirrel  returned  to  Canso  on  the  I4th.2  On 
the  1 8th  Smart  seized  every  French  vessel  and  all  French  property  he  could 
find,  and  sailed  away  to  Boston  with  plunder  valued  at  200,000  I.3 

News  of  this  exploit  was  promptly  brought  to  Louisbourg,  where  their 
understanding  with  Southack  and  Smart  seemed  to  have  been  generally  held  to 
be  satisfactory,  for  no  preparations  had  been  made  to  deal  with  the  conditions 
which  confronted  the  authorities.  The  news  was  as  much  a  surprise  at 
Louisbourg  as  the  event  had  been  to  the  fishers  at  Canso.  St.  Ovide  at  once 
took  spasmodic  action.  He  impressed  a  Malouin  trading  vessel  of  thirty  guns, 
armed  her,  and  put  on  board  forty  soldiers,  under  Ste.  Marie,4  and  sailors  from 
other  vessels  in  the  harbour  to  bring  her  complement  up  to  two  hundred  and 
fifty  men.  Her  captain  had  none  of  that  spirit  which  made  St.  Malo  la  cite 
corsaire.  He  and  his  crew  made  so  many  difficulties  that  the  condition 
bordered  on  revolt,  and  by  nightfall,  when  it  was  intended  she  should  sail,  she 
was  not  ready.  The  weather  the  next  day  was  bad,  and  the  expedition  was 
abandoned.  Such  is  the  account  given  in  the  joint  letter  of  St.  Ovide  and 
Soubras,5  but  the  latter  wrote  to  the  Minister  disavowing  any  share  in  these 
preparations,  and  severely  blaming  St.  Ovide,  with  supreme  authority,  for  not 
having  overcome  the  difficulties  and  delays.6 

This  action  of  St.  Ovide,  so  deplorably  weak  that  Soubras  says  he  groans 
while  he  writes  an  account  of  it,  was  almost  inevitable  with  an  ordinary  man  in 
charge  at  Louisbourg.7  Its  wretched  condition  must  have  been  evident  to 
Smart ;  they  had  no  cannon  mounted,  they  had  no  men-of-war,  they  had  no 
provisions,  and  their  troops  had  been  reduced  to  one  hundred  and  forty- 
one  men. 

Instead  of  a  warlike  expedition,  St.  Ovide  8  sent  Ste.  Marie  and  Laforest,  a 
clerk,  to  Canso.  Laforest  was  to  make  on  the  ground  a  formal  protest,  to 
draw  up  a  careful  and  accurate  account  of  what  had  happened,  on  which,  if  the 
facts  warranted,  the  right  of  reprisals  might  be  based.  Ste.  Marie  was  to  order 
the  French  to  withdraw,  and  to  remain  on  the  ground  until  these  instructions 
were  carried  out.  Ste.  Marie  was  further  instructed  to  tell  the  Indians  to 
behave,  to  do  justice  to  the  English,  and  to  make  the  French  pay  their  debts 
before  leaving.9 

1  Southack  was  with  Smart  as  a  representative  of  Massachusetts. 

2  B.T.N.S.  vol.  2  ;  I.R.  vol.  3. 

*  The  subsequent  proceedings  outside  Cape  Breton  are  too  lengthy  to  be  here  narrated.     The  whole  incident  will 
be  dealt  with  in  a  monograph  now  in  preparation. 

4  I.R.  vol.  3,  Oct.  19,  1718.  5  I.R.  vol.  3,  Oct.  1718. 

6  Some  suspicion  of  the  accuracy  of  St.  Ovide's  version  of  what  the  writer  calls  the   "  childish  conference   with 
Smart "  is  implied  in  Soubras  emphasizing  the  fact  that  he  was  not  present  at  these  interviews. 

7  I.R.  vol.  3.  f.  186.  «  Soubras,  Oct.  18,  1718,  I.R.  vol.  3,  f.  186.  9  Letter  of  Oct.  6. 


The  part  which  the  Indians  of  Nova  Scotia  took  in  the  next  incident  at 
Canso  makes  it  desirable  to  indicate  briefly  their  relations  to  the  European 
colonists  of  the  Atlantic  seaboard.  This  was  one  of  extreme  friendliness  to  the 
French  and  hostility  to  the  English.  The  Pax  Gallica,  which  for  so  long 
existed  throughout  so  large  a  part  of  the  wilds  of  North  America,  is  an 
enduring  monument  to  the  sagacity  of  French  administrators,  the  self-sacrifice 
of  French  missionaries,  and  the  savoir-faire  of  French  traders  and '  fishermen. 
The  effects  of  this  have  been  indicated  by  reference  to  the  attacks  on  the 
English  fishing  vessels  on  the  coast  of  Nova  Scotia,  the  safety  which  the  English 
fishers  found  at  Canso  in  company  with  the  French,  and  the  fact  that  at  the 
same  time  Frenchmen  had  no  fear  of  living  among  these  savages  along  this 
stretch  of  the  coast  on  which  the  English  only  could  land  in  peril.1 


"On  30  Ap.  1715  lie  sailed  with  2  sloops  &  one  two  mast  vessel  for  a  fishing  voyage 
to  Nova  Scotia.  I4th  May  arrived  at  Port  Rossway  &  landed  I7th,  vessels  sailed  on  their 
fishing  1 8th.  Welcomed  by  Mons.  Tarranguer  &  Joseph  Muess.  23rd.  Welcomed  by 
the  chief  captain  of  Cape  Sables  &  8  Indian  Officers.  25th.  M.  Tarranguer  came  and 
threatened  to  lead  100  Indians  to  capture  all  the  fishing  vessels  on  the  coast.  28th  June 
received  news  of  capture  of  an  English  vessel  and  men.  3rd  July.  Informed  of  the 
capture  of  another  fishing  sloop  by  the  Indians,  who  threatened  him  with  capture  and 
death;  saying  Costabelle  had  given  to  the  Indians  a  great  present,  nth  July.  2  vessels 
came  in  and  told  him  of  a  capture  of  7  sail  at  Port  Seigneur,  that  the  Indians  were  on 
their  way  to  capture  him  &  his,  would  kill  him.  They  refused  to  carry  him,  his  people 
&  effects  away,  unless  he  first  gave  them  a  bill  of  500  current  money  of  Boston  &  ^125 
to  be  p'd  in  Boston.  Agreed  to.  ...  Loss  sustained  at  Port  Rossway — ^450  &  the 
fishing  season.  "  - 

This  condition  of  affairs  has  certain  causes  which  are  fairly  well  defined, 
chief  among  which  is  the  different  attitude  of  the  French  and  English  to  the 
aborigines.  The  former  recognized  them  as  independent  allies,  not  as  subjects, 
acknowledging  them  as  sovereign  owners  of  the  land,  who  permitted  the 
usufruct  of  it  to  their  allies.  Pownall,  Governor  of  Massachusetts,  says  the 
English,  on  the  contrary,8 

"with  an  unsatiable  thirst  after  landed  possessions,  have  got  Deeds  and  other  fraudulent 
pretences,  grounded  on  the  abuse  of  Treaties,  and  by  these  Deeds  claim  possession,  even 
to  the  exclusion  of  the  Indians,  not  only  from  their  Hunting  Grounds  (which  with  them 
is  a  right  of  great  consequence)  but  even  from  their  house  and  home.  .  .  .  Upon  these 
pretences  they  have  drove  the  Indians  off  their  Lands  :  the  Indians  unable  to  bear  it  any 

1  See  also  Arceneau's  account  of  his  voyage  to  Cape  Breton  in  1714.  2  B.T.N.S.  vol.  2,  f.  7.  3  C.O.  5/518. 


longer  told  Sir  William  Johnson  that  they  believed  soon  they  should  not  be  able  to  hunt 
a  bear  into  a  hole  in  a  tree  but  some  Englishman  would  claim  a  right  to  the  property  of 
it  as  being  his  tree  .  .  .  this  is  the  sole  ground  of  the  loss  and  alienation  of  the  Indians 
from  the  English  Interest  :  and  this  is  the  ground  the  French  work  upon  :  on  the  contrary 
the  French  possessions  interfere  not  with  the  Indian's  Rights,  but  aid  and  assist  their  interest 
and  become  a  means  of  their  support." 

The  splendid  heroism  of  the  French  missionaries  had  made  these  Indians, 
as  well  as  those  of  the  tribes  of  Canada,  Roman  Catholic,  and  a  passion  for  the 
orthodoxy  of  that  church  made  their  savage  converts  more  hostile  to  the  heretic 
than  priests  and  administrators  of  French  origin.  St.  Ovide  objected  to  the 
employment  of  Swiss  troops  at  Louisbourg,  as  this  toleration  of  heretics  would 
have  a  bad  effect  on  the  Indians.1  Vaudreuil 2  expresses  the  French  policy  in 
these  phrases  :  "  But  as  Father  de  la  Chasse  says,  grace  among  the  Indians  has 
often  some  help  from  man,  and  among  them  worldly  gain  serves  as  a  channel 
of  doctrine  "  ("  Mais  comme  me  margue  le  pere  de  la  Chasse  la  grace  parmis 
les  sauvages  a  souvent  de  la  co-operation  de  rhomme,  et  parmis  eux  I'int6r6t 
temporel  sert  de  la  (sic)  vehicule  a  la  foix.") 

The  standard  form  of  the  "  vehicule  a  la  foix  "  was  an  annual  giving  of 
presents  of  practical  utility  to  the  Indians.  These  presents  were  dependent  in 
amount  on  the  number  of  warriors  in  the  tribe,  and  consisted  of  powder,  lead, 
flints,  and  axes.  The  occasion  of  the  distribution  was  an  important  one  for 
conference,  and  in  the  earlier  years  took  place  frequently  at  St.  Peter's,  but  on 
at  least  one  occasion  St.  Ovide  contemplated  going  to  Antigonish  on  the 
mainland  of  Nova  Scotia,  but  was  deterred  by  the  not  unreasonable  objections 
which  might  be  made  by  Phillips.8 

This  system  was  more  potent  in  keeping  the  friendliness  of  their  allies 
than  the  occasional  efforts  made  by  the  English  to  win  them  over.  These 
efforts  were  never  satisfactory,  and  the  punishments  of  the  Indians  for  wrong- 
doings by  the  English  were,  as  all  punishments  of  that  epoch,  harsh,  and  in 
addition  they  were  humiliating  and  irritated  the  Indians.  The  scalp  bounties 
of  the  colonies  included  rewards  for  the  killing  of  Indian  women  and  children, 
although  a  lesser  money  value  was  set  on  the  scalp  of  a  woman  or  child  than 
on  that  of  a  man.4  The  strange  conditions,  in  which  we  find  a  benign  and 
devout  clergyman  praying  that  the  young  men  who  have  joined  the  Mohawks 
in  a  scalping  expedition  against  the  French  and  Indians  may  go  in  the  fear 
of  the  Lord,  and  regarding  the  bringing  in  of  French  scalps  as  a  good  omen, 
were  such  as  made  it  easy  for  the  French  to  retain  the  goodwill  and  affection 
of  their  allies.  There  seemed  to  have  been  no  resentment  among  the  Indians 

1  "  Que  Ton  ne  retient  que  par  des  motifs  de  Religion." 

2  To  Minister,  September  16,  1714.  3   1721, 1.R.  vol.  5. 

4  Reference  to  this  gruesome  subject  is  made  in  the  Appendix.     William's  Diary,  Parkman  MSS.,  May  1747. 



when  any  of  their  number  were  punished  by  the  French.  The  only  important 
case  in  Isle  Royale  was  the  murder  of  Count  d'Agrain  by  two  Indians  in  his 
employment  ; *  the  criminals  were  apprehended  and  executed,  without  apparently 
causing  any  irritation  among  the  other  members  of  the  tribe. 

The  attitude  of  the  French  Government  was  throughout  consistent.  It  is 
indicated  in  a  reply  of  the  Council  to  a  letter  of  Costebelle 2  in  which  he  says  : 
"  The  savages  of  the  French  mission  on  the  shores  of  Acadia  are  such  irreconcil- 
able enemies  of  the  English  people,  that  we  cannot,  with  our  most  peaceable 
speeches,  impress  them  not  to  trouble  their  trade."  The  Council's  memorandum 
of  reply  was  to  maintain  the  savages  in  this  state  of  mind,  namely,  "  to  allow 
no  English  settlement  in  Acadia  or  fishing  on  its  shores,  but  this  should  be 
done  prudently  and  secretly."  This  was  continued  for  a  generation.  St. 
Ovide  was  reprimanded  for  having  conveyed  to  the  Indians,  at  a  somewhat 
later  time  than  this,  the  impression  that  the  small  garrison  at  Isle  St.  Jean  was 
to  help  them  in  their  raids  against  the  English;8  but  in  1727  Father  Gaulin 
was  suspected  of  assisting  the  Indians  in  making  peace  with  the  English,  and 
although  he  was  an  old  man,  broken  with  years  of  service  as  a  missionary, 
the  report  seriously  irritated  Maurepas.4 

The  difficulties  inherent  in  such  a  situation  were  increased  by  braggart 
and  turbulent  Frenchmen,  who  threatened  the  English  at  Canso  and  elsewhere 
on  the  coast  with  Indian  attacks  and  made  free  in  their  menaces  with  the 
names  of  Costebelle  and  St.  Ovide.  All  French  accounts  of  expeditions  in 
which  the  Indians  took  a  part  show  that  they  were  intractable,  capricious  allies, 
following  the  French  leader  when  his  movements  suited  them  ;  at  other  times, 
when  his  persuasions  and  threats  failed,  making  him  yield  to  their  views. 
Therefore,  while  the  correspondence  gives  the  impression  that  the  earlier 
French  authorities  were  sincere  in  not  encouraging  their  allies  to  deeds  of 
violence,  and  in  protecting  the  victims  when  these  occurred,  with  such  allies, 
it  was  inevitably  the  more  humane  side  of  their  policy  which  failed.5 

The  number  of  Indians  in  Nova  Scotia  was  small  ;  an  itemized  statement 
makes  in  1721  the  total  number  289  °  (Isle  Royale  36,  Antigonish  48,  Beaubassin 
47,  Mines  58,  La  Have  60,  Cap  de  Sable,  40).  The  following  year,7  however, 
in  connection  with  a  proposal  made  by  Gaulin  the  missionary,  to  remove  the 
Indians  to  that  island  in  the  Bras  d'Or  Lakes,  which  is  still  their  rendezvous, 
the  total  number  of  savages  bearing  arms  is  spoken  of  as  265,  and  the  entire 
Indian  population  as  838.  It  seems  incredible  that  so  small  a  number  could 
have  caused  such  widespread  dismay  among  the  English,  and  so  seriously 

1  Jan.  22,  1722.  2  Sept.  9,  1715,  I.R.  vol.  i,  f.  336. 

3  B,  vol.  54,  t.  517.  4  March  11,  172-,  I.R.  B,  50. 

*  Sec  Journals  of  Mann  and  Boishebert.  6  I.R.  vol.  5,  Sept.  15,  1721. 

7  I.R.  vol.  6,  Dec.  2-,  1722. 


hampered  their  operations.  In  many  cases  the  crew  of  a  fishing  vessel  would 
have  been  as  numerous  as  any  of  the  bands  which  attacked  them.  It  is  to 
be  expected  that  fishermen  on  shore  would  be  at  a  disadvantage  when  attacked 
by  savages  skilled  in  the  ways  of  forest  warfare  ;  but  it  is  surprising  to  find 
that  the  Indians  of  Nova  Scotia  were  bold  and  skilful  at  sea.  In  the  outbreak 
of  1722  the  Indians  captured  trading  vessels  both  in  the  Bay  of  Fundy  and 
off  the  coast  of  Nova  Scotia.1  They  then  cruised  on  the  Banks  with  the  captured 
sloops,  forcing  the  prisoners  to  serve  as  mariners.  They  threatened  to  attack 
Canso,  and  the  fishermen  were  breaking  up  the  fishery,  when  Colonel  Phillips 
persuaded  them  to  join  him  in  fitting  out  two  sloops,  each  with  a  detachment 
of  troops.  In  the  course  of  three  weeks  all  the  sloops  and  prisoners,  with  the 
exception  of  four,  were  recaptured.  In  one  of  these  encounters  fifteen  Indians 
fought  for  two  hours  with  Phillips'  schooner  manned  by  sixty  men.  Ten 
of  the  Indians  escaped  by  swimming  ashore.  The  heads  of  the  other  five  were 
cut  off  and  stuck  on  the  pickets  of  the  redoubt  at  Canso.2 

In  the  next  attack,  1725,  which  they  made  on  Canso,  after  the  first 
onslaught,  the  English  armed  a  vessel  to  go  in  pursuit  of  the  Indians  who 
were  cruising  in  two  of  their  captures,  in  which  they  had  taken  eight  or  nine 
small  fishing  craft.  In  another  case3  they  took  an  English  schooner  from 
Newfoundland  and  brought  her  back  to  Isle  Royale,  while  from  their  establish- 
ment on  the  Bras  d'Or  Lakes  they  made  annual  excursions  in  open  boats  to 
the  Magdalen  Islands.  The  advantages  to  French  industry  of  these  raids 
is  shown  by  the  statement  that  the  capture  of  one  English  fishing  vessel  off" 
Isle  St.  Jean  by  Indians4  caused  eighty  others  to  leave  its  waters  and  return 
to  Canso,  and  the  view  of  Maurepas,  that  in  this  he  saw  no  inconvenience, 
is  easily  understood.  The  success  of  the  Indians  against  the  fishermen  of  New 
England  was  probably  the  chief  reason  for  the  contempt  for  the  military  skill 
of  the  British  colonists,  expressed  up  to  1745  by  the  Louisbourg  people. 

Disturbing  as  had  been  the  exploit  of  Smart,  its  effects  lasted  longer  in 
diplomatic  circles  than  it  did  at  its  scene.  The  French  returned,  or  possibly 
continued,  to  fish  at  Canso.  In  1720  Young  again  visited  that  port,  and  says 
that  there  were  ninety-six  English  and  two  hundred  French  fishermen  off  Canso. 
He  then  went  to  Louisbourg  and  saw  St.  Ovide,  who  said  that  he  would  prevent 
the  French  going,  as  contrary  to  the  Treaty.  At  the  same  time  it  would  seem 
evident  that  the  fishing  was  held  in  common,  for  the  English  frequented  Petit 
de  Grat  and  other  places  on  Isle  Madame,5  which  was  unquestionably  French 
territory.  But  while  the  conditions  were  not  different  from  those  of  1718,  the 
disturbance  of  the  peace  in  1720  came  from  the  Indians. 

1  B.T.N.S.  vol.  4,  Phillips  from  Canso,  September  19,  1722.  2  I.R.  vol.  6,  f.  22. 

3  I.R.  vol.  7,  f.  179.  4  B,  54,  517$.  8  B.T.N.S.  vol.  3,  f.  20. 


"  On  l  the  8th  of  August  1720  the  port  of  Canso  was  attacked  by  a  body  of  Indians  and 
some  fifty  or  sixty  French.  About  one  or  two  in  the  morning  the  Indians  sprang  on  the 
English  fishermen,  scarcely  giving  some  of  them  time  to  put  on  their  breeches,  and  making 
many  prisoners,  placed  them  in  the  house  under  guard.  The  remainder  were  driven  into 
the  boats  and  then  the  French  stepped  in  and  assisted.  Everything  was  pillaged — fish, 
goods,  clothes,  bedding  and  even  pockets,  the  loss  being  said  to  amount  to  about  ^18,000. 
The  onset  commenced  at  Capt.  Richards'  Island,  which  they  made  the  place  of  rendezvous. 
The  fishing  vessels  having  assembled,  one  was  manned  to  save  Capt.  Richards'  ship,  which 
was  deemed  in  danger,  but  after  firing  on  both  sides  she  was  forced  to  retire. 

"  During  this  affair  2  Englishmen  were  shot  dead  in  escaping  to  the  boats,  &  one 
was  drowned.  At  2  in  the  afternoon  a  deputation  went  to  Louisbourg  to  represent 
the  grievance,  but  the  Gov'r  made  light  of  it,  saying  any  Fr.  taken  in  the  act  sh'd 
make  satisfaction,  but  was  not  responsible  for  the  Indians. 

"  In  the  mean  time  Capt.  Richards  had  fitted  out  two  small  ships,  in  which  he  had 
pursued  the  assailants  &  captured  six  shallops  with  plunder  on  board  &  15  Frenchmen. 
Two  captured  Indians  said  M.  St.  Ovide  had  encouraged  them  &  ordered  them  to  rob 
the  settlem't. 

"One  Prudent  Robicheau,  inhabitant  of  Annapolis,  declared  that  a  rumor  had  been 
current  in  St.  Peters  that  the  Indians  would  fall  upon  Canso  some  time  in  the  summer 
&  he  had  warned  2  Eng.  masters  bound  to  Canso.  The  firing  at  Canso  was  heard 
at  St.  Peters.  He  left  that  place  in  a  shallop,  with  Father  Vincent  on  board,  on  the  gth 
of  Aug.,  &  met  a  shallop  with  Indians  who  boasted  of  having  taken  Canso  &  forced  the 
fishermen  off  their  boats,  killing  I  and  wounding  4.  They  had  much  plunder  on  board, 
Father  Vincent  rec'd  presents  from  them  &  applauded  their  actions.  The  Indians  stated 
that  70  Indians  in  40  canoes  had  driven  500  men  on  to  their  ships.  A  master  of  one  of 
the  ships,  being  set  on  board  his  vessel,  fired  on  the  Indians  &  forced  them  to  retire. 
They  seized  an  Eng.  shallop  and  took  some  of  the  plunder  in  her. 

"Not  receiving  any  assistance  from  the  Gov'r  of  Cape  Breton,  they  sent  Mr.  Henshaw 
to  Gov'r.  Phillips,  and  five  French  prisoners  with  him.  Mr.  Henshaw  returned  with 
Arms  and  Ammunition  &  provisions,  accompanied  by  Major  Lawrence  Armstrong. 
The  latter  was  directed  to  go  to  Canso  &  take  all  necessary  measures  for  restoration  of 
peace  &  security.  He  was  afterwards  to  proceed  to  C.  Breton  &  deliver  the  letter  to 
the  Gov'r  demanding  restitution  to  the  people  &  the  arrest  of  the  principal  actors  and 
their  ships,  until  the  decision  of  the  two  Courts  can  be  received.  To  return  with  the 
Gov'r's  answer,  calling  at  Canso  on  the  way. 

"Gov'r  Phillips'  Letter  to  M.  St.  Ovide,  dated  2Qth  Aug.  1720,  acknowledged  the 
receipt  of  St.  Ovide's  letter  in  reply  to  the  deputation  from  Canso,  and  informed  him 
that  5  Frenchmen  had  been  captured  with  some  of  the  Eng.  plunder  in  their  possession. 
From  the  depositions  of  these  prisoners,  copies  of  wh.  are  sent  to  him  &  also  to  the  King 
of  Gt.  Britain,  it  is  evident  that  the  Fr.  were  not  only  the  framers  and  promoters  of  the 
violation  of  the  peace  at  Canso,  but  also  the  principal  actors,  the  prisoners  declaring  they 
were  ordered  by  their  Masters,  Philibert,  Massey,  &c.,  to  pillage  the  Eng.  goods,  to 
load  the  shallops  with  them,  with  their  Arms  in  their  hands,  powder  &  shot  being 
distributed  to  the  Natives  as  in  a  time  of  war.  He  stated  that  one  Renaud  had  previously 

1   B.T.N.S.  vol.  3. 

:72o  THE  ROAD  OF  EQUITY  69 

arranged  the  onslaught  with  the  natives,  &  questions  whether  this  could  have  been  done 
without  support  from  high  authority.  The  Indians  who  took  part  had  (all  but  four) 
come  from  Cape  Breton,  where  the  affair  had  been  openly  discussed  for  3  mos.  previously. 
He  cannot  credit  the  assertions  of  2  Indian  prisoners  that  Mr.  St.  Ovid  was  the  one 
who  encouraged  them.  Proofs  of  his  desire  to  preserve  the  peace  demanded  his  making 
full  restitution  for  the  losses  at  Canso,  &  due  satisfaction  made  on  the  chief  actors,  who 
with  their  ships,  &c.,  should  be  arrested  &  await  the  decision  of  the  two  courts."1 

Armstrong  went  to  Louisbourg,  where,  notwithstanding  the  peremptory 
tone  of  his  demands,  he  was  received  with  politeness.  St.  Ovide,  with  the 
action  of  Smart  and  the  British  authorities  before  him,  was  determined  to 
show  the  "  road  of  equity "  to  the  English  in  this  transaction.  He  sent 
De  Pensens,  who  was  accompanied  by  Armstrong,  to  Petit  de  Grat,  where 
he  examined  the  French  who  knew  about  the  affair.  It  was  proved  by  their 
evidence  that  the  Indians  were  destroying  the  cod  and  other  property,  or 
giving  it  to  them.  Arquebel  thought  it  only  right  to  make  good  his  losses 
through  Smart,  and  therefore  took  cod.  Two  other  men  said  the  Indians 
forced  them.  Another  man  saw  Indians  destroying  a  good  sail,  asked  for  it 
and  they  gave  it  to  him  ;  and  still  another  had  lost  by  the  English  in  1718. 
The  property  that  had  been  taken  was  restored  to  Armstrong  to  the  value 
of  ^i6oo.2 

As  two  years  had  elapsed  since  the  first  outrage  at  Canso,  and  it  was 
still  unatoned  for,  the  English  authorities  were  not  in  a  position  to  notice 
this  incident,8  in  which,  granted  the  fact  that  the  French  had  such  allies  as 
the  Indians,  the  conduct  of  their  local  authorities  was  honourable,  straight- 
forward, and  the  action  that  they  took  towards  righting  the  wrong  was  all 
that  could  be  expected  of  them. 

The  view  which  St.  Ovide  wrote  to  the  authorities  at  home  as  to  the 
reason  of  the  outbreak  at  this  particular  time  was,  that  the  Indians  were 
incensed  by  British  treatment  of  their  brothers,  the  Acadians.  On  the  face 
of  it  this  does  not  seem  probable.  It  receives  some  confirmation  from  Phillips, 
who  reports  with  bitterness  that  Lieutenant  Washington,  one  of  his  officers 
at  Annapolis,  went  about  saying  that  his  severity  to  the  Acadians  brought 
on  this  attack.4 

Phillips  took  prompt  action.  He  sent  in  the  autumn  a  company  to 
remain  at  Canso  all  winter.  These  he  reinforced  the  following  year  with 
two  companies,  built  a  small  fort,  which  he  armed  with  cannon  borrowed 

1  B.T.N.S.  vol.  4,  Nov.  20,  1720. 

2  The  Court  approved  this  action  of  St.  Ovide  (B,  vol.  44,  f.  557,  June  20,  1721}. 

3  The   Commissioners  of   Trade,   nevertheless,  wrote  to    the    Lords   Justices,  speaking   of  the    Indian   attack    as 
reprisals  by  the  French,  and  urged  that  restitution  be  demanded  before  satisfaction  be  given  Mr.  Hirriberry,  the  chief 
victim  of  Smart  (B.T.N.S.  vol.  31,  Oct.  18,  1720).  '  N.S.  vol.  4,  f.  7. 



from  the  vessels,  and  thereafter  held  the  place,  on  the  ground  that  it  was 
necessary  to  protect  the  fishermen  from  Indian  hostilities.  He  thus  made 
Canso,  on  his  own  initiative,  British  territory. 

These  events  at  Canso  have  been  set  forth  in  some  detail,  for  they  may 
be  regarded  as  indicating  with  clearness  the  course  of  the  future  relations 
of  the  two  peoples  in  North  America,  which  culminated  in  the  obliteration 
of  French  power.  On  the  one  hand,  there  was  the  commercial  aspect  ;  the 
people  of  both  nationalities  engaged  in  the  peaceful  exploiting  of  the  fisheries, 
which  were  so  rich  that  both  together  had  ample  room,  and  indifferently  used 
the  harbours  and  waters  which  belonged  to  both  Crowns.  On  the  other  hand, 
there  is  the  action  of  the  Governments  ;  that  of  Massachusetts,  energetic  and 
forceful,  which  took  steps  on  false  information,  for  the  French  were  not  on 
the  mainland  of  Nova  Scotia,  and  in  the  trouble  which  followed  their  action, 
an  unscrupulous  naval  captain  was  vigorously  supported  by  the  Admiralty. 
On  the  French  side  one  marks  the  leaning  on  the  broken  reed  of  English 
respect  for  the  law  of  nations,  and  a  supineness  in  considering  an  insult  to 
the  French  flag  in  colonial  waters  as  of  little  consequence.  It  is  not  to  be 
wondered  at  that  a  writer :  on  French  colonial  policy,  should  have  a  chapter 
on  the  contempt  for  the  colonies  in  the  eighteenth  century.  The  history  of 
the  French  action  at  Canso  would  justify  the  heading  of  his  chapter,  as  well 
as  the  matter  he  publishes  therein. 

Again,  no  comment  is  necessary  on  the  significance  of  the  action  of  the 
officials.  St.  Ovide  waited  for  instructions  from  the  Court  and  supplies  from 
France.  Phillips,  as  ill -equipped  as  the  French  Governor,  threw  a  garrison 
into  Canso  without  waiting  for  instructions,  and,  without  artillery,  made  those 
interested  contribute  guns  from  their  vessels  for  its  defence.  These  are 
examples  of  the  working  out  of  the  two  systems  on  which  colonies  were 
governed,  quite  as  striking  as  any  found  elsewhere  in  the  history  of  New 
England  and  New  France. 

1    Schon,  La  Politiyue  Csloniale. 


Louis  XV.  attained  his  majority  on  February  17,  1723.  The  policy  of 
Du  Bois,  friendly  to  England,  was  succeeded  by  that  of  Fleury,  more  widely 
pacific.  Many  years  of  peace  were  unmarked  by  any  incidents  like  that  of 
Canso,  which  with  a  more  spirited  Minister  would  have  led  to  action,  the 
consequences  of  which  might  have  been  felt  far  beyond  the  confines  of  this 
little  colony. 

The  immediate  effect  on  it  of  the  King's  majority  was  the  substitution 
for  the  Navy  Board  of  Maurepas  as  Minister  of  the  Navy.  To  his  hands, 
those  of  a  young  man  of  twenty-two,  were  entrusted  the  affairs  of  the  vast 
colonial  empire  as  well  as  the  navies  of  France.1  No  striking  change  took 
place  in  Isle  Royale  in  consequence  of  this  change  at  Court.  The  definite 
selection  of  Louisbourg  as  the  chief  place  of  the  colony  had  improved  its 
position.  Its  population  increased,  but  to  a  less  degree  than  that  of  the 
outports.  The  growth  was  : 

Louisbourg.  Other  places. 

I7l8  .  .  .  .568  815 

1720  .  .  733  1181 
1723  .  .  795  1102 
1726  ....  951  2180 

The  number  of  places  at  which  settlements  were  made  also  increased. . 
In  1718  outside  of  Louisbourg  there  were  apparently  only  four  places,  while 
in  1726  there  were  settlements  of  more  or  less  importance  in  thirteen  other 
localities,  the  most  important  of  which  was  Ninganiche  (Ingonish),  which  did 
not  exist  in  1720*  but  in  1726  was  much  larger  than  any  other  place,  except 
Louisbourg,  and  put  out  more  than  twice  as  many  fishing-boats  as  that  port. 
Four  years  later  the  number  of  settlements  was  eighteen.  While  Ingonish 
was  a  successful  competitor  in  fishing,  in  general  commerce  which  employed 
larger  vessels  Louisbourg  quite  surpassed  any  of  the  outports  or,  indeed,  all 
of  them  together.  Of  the  sixty-one  vessels  which  came  from  France  in  1726, 

1  For  the  character  of  Maurepas  see  Chap.  XV.  2  G1,  467. 


72  PIRATES  ON  THE  COAST  1720-1726 

thirty-nine  came   thither  ;    of  fifty-seven   from  Canada,  the  West  Indies,  New 
England,  and  Nova  Scotia,  all  came  to  the  port  of  Louisbourg.1 

During  these  years,  Isle  Royale,  like  the  northern  colonies  of  Britain, 
suffered  from  the  ravages  inflicted  by  pirates  on  the  commerce  of  the  high 
seas.  The  increase  in  the  number  of  these  freebooters,  brought  about  by 
the  disbanding  of  the  men-of-war's  men  after  the  Peace  of  Utrecht,  produced 
its  effects  in  these  waters.  It  will  be  remembered  that,  as  evidence  of  the  sad 
condition  of  Louisbourg  in  1715,  St.  Ovide  feared  that  after  the  leaving  of 
the  King's  ships  it  would  lie  defenceless  to  the  attacks  of  pirates. 

In  the  autumn  of  1721  the  authorities  at  Louisbourg  were  dismayed 
to  find  that  in  the  town  there  was  no  powder  or  shot,  when  the  pirates  were 
on  the  coast,  and  the  inhabitants  were  so  badly  armed  that  St.  Ovide  drew 
the  attention  of  the  authorities  to  their  state.  Their  condition,  in  the  face 
of  what  was  real  danger,  apparently  led  them  to  tempt  the  soldiers  to  sell 
their  muskets,  which  the  authorities  punished  with  a  fine  of  200  1.  The 
following  year  Phillips  sent  an  officer  to  warn  the  authorities  that  a  pirate 
brigantine  and  schooner  were  on  the  eastern  coast  of  Acadia,  and  had  taken 
ten  or  twelve  vessels.2  A  vessel  of  St.  Malo  on  the  coast  of  Isle  Royale  was 
taken  by  a  pirate  schooner,  her  rigging  destroyed,  her  yards  broken,  and  she 
was  ordered  to  return  to  France.  She  reached  Scatari  after  sixteen  days,  and 
reported  the  outrage  to  the  authorities  at  Louisbourg.  Further  havoc  was 
done  by  a  vessel  of  seventy  or  eighty  tons,  eight  cannon,  sixteen  swivels,  and 
one  hundred  and  fifty  men.  In  1720  the  ship  of  Captain  Carey,  from  London 
to  Boston,  near  the  Grand  Banks,  was  plundered  by  a  pirate  of  twenty-six 
guns  with  a  consort  of  ten.  The  loss  was  £8000.  Carey  brought  in  the 
report  that  they  had  destroyed  the  Newfoundland  fishery.8 

So  serious  was  the  menace  that  Bourville,  acting  Governor  after  St.  Ovide 
had  left  for  France  in  1721,  found  it  necessary  to  fortify  Louisbourg,  a  town 
of  a  thousand  people,  with  a  garrison  of  three  hundred  against  an  attack  by 
pirates.4  He  mounted  seven  large  guns  of  twenty-four  pounds  on  the  island, 
seven  near  the  fortifications,  and  six  at  the  ancient  fort,  the  site  of  the  first 

Throughout  this  period,  apparently  some  of  the  freebooters,  whose  names 
have  been  preserved  to  history,  and  throw  a  lurid  glare  over  modern  fiction, 
left  the  richer  commerce  of  the  West  Indies  to  come  northwards  to  plunder  on 
the  coasts  of  New  England,  Acadia,  and  Isle  Royale.  The  force  of  some  of 
those  vessels  was  so  great  that  it  could  not  have  been  sent  out  by  the  other 

1   Its  people  alto  owned  most  of  the  vessels  used  for  coasting.  2  I.R.  vol.  6,  p.  22. 

1  Shute  to  the  Lords  of  Trade,  Boston,  August  19.  C.O.  5/868. 
4   Bourville  had  become  Kin?  Lieutenant  in  succession  to  de  Beaucours. 

1725  WRECK  OF  THE  <  CHAMEAU  '  73 

pirates  who  also  preyed  on  this  commerce.  These  were  outlaws  largely  from 
English  fishing  vessels  frequenting  the  coasts  of  Newfoundland,  who  had  been 
turned  adrift  for  insubordination  or  drunkenness,  or  had  deserted  on  account 
of  low  wages  and  poor  fare.  Their  head-quarters  were  at  Cape  Ray.  While 
possibly  the  majority  of  them  were  English,  their  rendezvous  received  accessions 
from  the  French  and  became  the  "  cave  of  Adullam  "  of  these  coasts.  Fisher- 
men stole  the  boats  and  gear  of  their  masters,  notably  from  Ingonish.  De 
Mezy's  exalted  position  did  not  prevent  one  of  his  boats  being  stolen  from 
under  his  windows.  All  such  malefactors  joined  the  outlaws.  They  plundered 
vessels  on  the  Grand  Banks  and  on  the  coasts  of  Newfoundland.  Although  the 
site  of  their  settlement  was  known,  and  the  British  Government  sent  out  regu- 

'  D 

larly  vessels  to  protect  its  commerce  against  the  pirates,  and  a  joint  French  and 
English  expedition  was  contemplated,  no  steps  were  taken  to  break  it  up. 
Throughout  the  whole  period  of  Louisbourg's  history,  while  the  freebooters 
in  its  immediate  neighbourhood  disappeared,  both  French  and  English  men-of- 
war  visited  the  fishermen  on  the  Grand  Banks,  for  the  purpose  of  protecting 
them  from  pirates.1 

The  incident  which  marked  these  years  was  a  shipwreck  which  de  Mezy 
described  as  the  most  frightful  which  he  had  known  in  the  five  and  thirty  years 
of  his  seafaring  life.2 

The  rock-bound  coast  of  Isle  Royale  is,  to  the  eastward  of  Louisbourg, 
free  for  some  distance  from  outlying  dangers.  Near  Cape  Breton,  its  eastern 
extremity,  currents,  which  are  at  times  impetuous,  rush  round  the  low  island  of 
Porto  Nova  and  other  rocks  and  shoals,  and  so  make  impossible  a  safe  approach 
to  this  shore.3  At  this  time,  August  1725,  the  inhabitants  of  these  hamlets, 
some  six  or  eight  score,  most  of  whom  were  at  Baleine,  took  refuge  before 
nightfall  of  the  25th,  in  their  rude  huts  ("cabannes"),  from  an  east-south-east  gale 
which  blew  furiously  on  this  coast,  the  steep-pitched  beaches  of  which  mark 
the  force  of  the  seas.  It  was  ten  the  next  morning  before  any  of  them  ventured 
out,  and  they  found  in  the  sea-wrack  on  the  shore  the  wreckage  of  a  large  vessel. 
Among  it  were  pulleys  marked  with  fleur  de  lysy  which,  when  this  news  was 
brought  to  Louisbourg  on  the  following  day,  the  27th,  indicated  to  the 
authorities  that  a  King's  ship  had  been  lost  near  Baleine.  De  Mezy  himself, 
de  Bourville,  Major  of  the  troops,  and  Sabatier  the  Comptroller,  at  once  set 

1  The  lesser  value  of  the  commerce  of  the  North  made  it  unnecessary  for  the  pirates  to  obtain  a  foothold  on  this 
coast,  although  at  more  than  one  place  in  Nova  Scotia  and  Cape  Breton  are  legends  of  the  buried  treasure  of  Captain 
Kidd.     Rhode  Island  is  the  most  northern  of  the  colonies  whose  officials  and  citizens  were  accused  of  complicity  in  this 
piracy  ;  the  French  certainly  had  no  share  in  it.     See  Weeden,  passim,  Channing,  vol.  ii. 

2  The  intimate  connection  of  colonial  administration  with  the  Navy  is  shown  in  his  expression  in  writing  to  a 
minister  who  knew  his  record,  "  depuis  trente  cinq  ans  que  je  vais  a  la  mer,"  although  in  many  of  these  years  he  served 
in  the  colonies. 

3  The  small  harbours  of  Grand  and  Petit  Lorambec,  and  Baleine,  afford  shelter  to  only  smaller  craft. 


out.  They  found  along  the  coast,  from  Grand  Lorambec  to  Baleine,  the  beach 
strewn  with  wreckage,  among  which  was  the  figure-head  which  identified  the 
vessel  as  the  Chameau>  which,  under  command  of  M.  de  St.  James,  was  carrying 
supplies,  money,  and  dispatches,  together  with  a  distinguished  passenger  list,  to 
(Quebec.  The  first  bodies  found  were  those  of  Chazel,  the  newly  appointed 
Intendant  of  Canada;  the  ship's  pilot,  Chointeau,  and  one  which  they  believed 
was  that  of  young  de  Lages,  son  of  de  Ramezay,  Governor  of  Montreal.  Papers 
came  ashore,  among  them  the  patent  of  Chazel.  These  victims  were  but  the 
forerunners  of  many.  In  two  days,  forty  more  were  found  by  men  of  the 
three  detachments  which  had  been  promptly  formed  to  make  salvage  of  what 
came  ashore.  The  wreck  was  indeed  complete  ;  the  ill-fated  ship,  evidently 
under  sail,  had  been  carried  over  the  outlying  reefs.  She  at  once  broke  up  ; 
part  of  her  starboard  side  came  ashore  with  the  main  mast  and  its  rigging  ; 
another  part  of  the  same  side  with  the  mizzen  mast  was  found  nearly  a  mile 
farther  along  the  coast.  The  suddenness  of  the  disaster  was  made  evident  by 
the  fact  that  most  of  the  bodies  were  undressed.  The  fury  of  the  sea  was  shown 
by  the  fact  that  from  the  live  stock  carried  on  her,  not  even  a  pig  came  ashore 
alive  ;  "  les  cochons  mesmes  qui  nagent  si  bien  sont  venus  morts  a  la  coste." 
Among  the  victims  who  were  recognized  were  two  officers  of  Canada,  de 
Morrion  and  Pachot,  but  if  L'Hermitte's  body  was  found  it  was  not  identified, 
and  De  Pensens,  who  was  at  one  time  thought  to  be  on  board,  had  not  sailed. 
The  missionary  priest  at  Baleine  buried  one  hundred  and  eighty  ;  the  total  loss 
was  three  hundred  and  ten. 

The  authorities  acted  with  effectiveness  in  this  disaster.  They  advised 
those  of  Quebec,  and  arranged  to  lend  them  ammunition  and  money  from  the 
Louisbourg  supplies  which  were  coming  on  the  Dromedary.  There  was  no  sign 
of  the  after  part  of  the  ship  having  come  ashore,  so  it  was  hoped  that  some 
salvage  might  be  made  of  her  guns  and  treasure,  particularly  as  the  rock  on 
which  she  broke  up  was  covered  at  low  tide  by  only  a  few  feet  of  water.  De- 
tachments were  kept  posted  along  the  shore  to  save  what  wreckage  they  could, 
their  men  being  promised  a  share  of  whatever  was  found.  The  next  season 
some  soldiers  who  were  skilful  divers  were  sent  from  Quebec  and  were  employed 
at  the  wreck.  They  were  in  charge  of  Sabatier  and  of  young  Le  Normant, 
then  acting  as  clerk  under  his  father.  They  lodged  in  an  abandoned  house  of 
Carrerrot,  a  merchant  of  Louisbourg.  It  was  roofless,  except  for  one  room. 
It  had  been  occupied  by  his  sister,  Madame  La  Salle,  a  sprightly  lady  to  whose 
attractions  Le  Normant  lightly  refers,  and  to  whom  he  and  Sabatier  sent  a 
message  of  esteem  and  gratitude  in  his  letter  to  u  Monsieur  mon  tres  cher  Pere." 
Morpain  conducted  the  actual  operations,  which  were  carried  on  in  September, 
Le  Normant  whiling  away  his  spare  time  by  shooting  when  bad  weather  inter- 

1726  PROGRESS  IN  TRADE  75 

rupted  the  work.  He  sent  to  his  father  the  game  which  he  got,  and  in  his  last 
letter  from  Baleine  ends  his  requisition  for  supplies  with  "  five  or  six  days  of 
good  weather  or  an  order  to  return."  The  latter  came  in  due  course.  No 
more  striking  contrast  in  circumstances  is  connected  with  Louisbourg  than  that 
between  young  Le  Normant  in  Baleine  and  Le  Normant  at  the  head  of  the  Navy 
in  attendance  on  the  King,  and  belonging  to  the  party  of  Madame  de  Pompadour.1 
Further  search  was  abandoned,  but  the  wreck  left  its  mark  on  the  colony, 
although  no  one  connected  with  it  was  lost,  for  almost  the  latest  French  maps 
mark,  on  the  bleak  shore  of  the  cove,  the  cemetery  of  those  of  its  victims 
which  the  sea  gave  up.  It  lived  in  the  memory  of  the  French  of  Isle  Royale 
as  the  August  gale  of  1873  is  still  before  the  people  of  Cape  Breton,  and  when 
two  heavy  gales  in  November  1726  swept  Louisbourg  with  great  damage,  it 
was  vividly  recalled  to  its  people. 

Isle  Royale  was  at  this  time,  thirteen  years  after  its  foundation,  described  as 
a  colony  beginning  to  be  considerable.  Its  commerce  with  the  West  Indies  had 
by  1726  become  important,  as  had  its  trade  with  France  and  Quebec.  Its 
principal  export,  after  fish,  was  its  coal,  followed  in  value  by  furs  gathered  at 
Louisbourg  from  Nova  Scotia. 

The  trade  suffered  from  a  scarcity  of  ready  money  not  seriously  felt  within 
the  colony,  but  for  example  making  trade  difficult  with  Quebec,  whither  the 
merchants  of  Louisbourg  had  to  send  cash  to  pay  the  duties  on  goods  they 
exported  to  Canada. 

The  regulations  which  in  the  earliest  stage  governed  trade  between  France 
and  her  colonies,  established  by  the  Edict  of  1716,  were  irksome.  Vessels  could 
sail  for  the  colonies  from  only  a  few  of  the  ports  of  France.2  Bonds  had  to  be 
given  that  they  would  return  to  the  port  of  departure.3  The  destination  had  to 
be  named  before  leaving,  and  a  certificate  produced,  after  the  round  voyage  was 
finished,  that  the  vessel  had  been  at  the  port  named.  This  restricted  freedom  in 
seeking  markets,  and  in  taking  advantage  of  the  triangular  trade,  which  for  so 
long  was  the  normal  course  of  shipping  between  Europe  and  America.  This 
was  modified  by  an  edict  in  October  1727,*  which  provided  that  no  foreign 
product,  except  Irish  salt  beef  loaded  at  a  port  of  France,  should  be  admitted  to 
Canada  or  the  West  Indies,  and  that  none  of  their  products  should  go  directly 
to  a  foreign  country,  with  the  exception  of  refined  sugars  to  Spain.  Foreign 

1  The  value,  about  6000  1.,  of  the  salvage  from  the  Chameau  was  trifling,  although  she  had  on  board  289,696  1.  in 
cash,  for  the  expenses  of  Canada  (I.R.  B,  vol.  48,  f.  862). 

2  e.g.  Sables  d'Olonne  then  a  fishing  port,  not,  as  now,  a  watering-place,  had  to  apply  to  the  Conseil  de  Commerce 
for  this  privilege.     Previously  to  its  being  granted  its  outfitters  had  to  pay  local  imposts  on  the  goods  they  sent  out,  which 
they  brought  to  their  port  from  Bordeaux  (Arch.  Nat.  F,  12,  vol.  75). 

3  Dugard  Le  Vieux  of  Rouen  was  hampered  by  this  regulation,  which  was  modified  on  his  application.     The  Conseil 
generally  decided  in  favour  of  freedom  of  trade  (Arch.  Nat.  F,  12,  vol.  87). 

4  Isambert,  Recueil,  vol.  26. 

76  ILLICIT  TRADE  1728 

vessels  were  not  permitted  to  enter  a  port  in  the  colonies  nor  come  within  a 
league  of  them,  under  penalty  of  confiscation,  and  a  fine  of  loool.  Officers 
were  ordered  to  seek  them  out,  and  men-of-war  and  privateers  to  capture 
foreigners  or  French  vessels  engaged  in  illicit  commerce.  An  elaborate  scale  of 
division  of  the  proceeds  of  such  confiscation  was  established,  the  only  relaxation 
on  humanitarian  ground  of  the  stringency  of  these  regulations  being  that  a 
vessel  in  distress  could  take  refuge  only  in  a  port  where  there  was  a  garrison. 

A  later  chapter  l  deals  with  the  lack  of  balance  of  the  trade  which  centred 
at  Louisbourg.  The  defiance  or  ignoring  of  the  regulations  made  by  distant 
authorities,  enforced  in  many  cases  by  officials  who  had  a  personal  interest  in 
illicit  trade,  was  as  important  a  factor  in  the  economic  conditions  as  official 

If  the  margin  of  profit  is  adequate,  any  trade  will  be  carried  on  in  defiance 
of  law.  Vessels  from  the  British  colonies  had  been  permitted  to  come  to  Isle 
Royale  from  time  to  time,  until,  under  pressure  of  necessity  in  1726,  a  pro- 
clamation was  issued  permitting  the  importation  from  them  of  building 
materials,  live  cattle,  poultry,  etc.,  but  prohibiting  everything  else.2  This  opened 
one  door,  for  the  returns  of  the  permitted  vessels  would  indicate  that  none  of 
them  carried  full  cargoes,  the  balance  of  their  lading  would  be  contraband  goods. 
Others  apparently  depended  on  corruption,  and  made  no  colour  of  being  on  a 
legitimate  voyage.  We  have  the  record  of  an  agreement  made  in  1724  at  Boston 
between  three  merchants, — "  Johonnot,"  P.  Evarts,  Hough,  and  one  Pierre 
Grouard, — who  undertook  to  sell  the  lading  of  the  schooner  Hirondelle  and 
purchase  a  cargo  of  fish  and  bring  back  in  money  or  taffetas 3  any  balance  for  a 
commission  of  6  per  cent.  The  Hirondelle  was  seized  at  Rimouski,  suspected 
of  spying.  Grouard  and  others  were  imprisoned,  and  were  the  occasion  of 
charges  of  official  improprieties,  and  a  conflict  of  jurisdiction.4  While  this  cargo 
went  to  the  Gulf  of  the  St.  Lawrence  there  is  no  reason  to  believe  that  a  similar 
method  of  doing  business  was  not  carried  on  with  Louisbourg,  and  that  the 
merchants  named  were  the  only  ones  in  Boston  who  conducted  trade  with  the 
French  colonies  in  this  fashion.  The  ledger  of  one  of  the  most  important  of 
them,  Mr.  Faneuil,  contains  may  entries  of  transactions  with  merchants  of  Louis- 
bourg. The  evidence  of  Newton,  the  collector  of  Customs  at  Canso,  makes  this 
reasonably  certain,  fori  in  no  year  during  the  period  under  consideration  did  the 
number  of  vessels  declared  as  from  British  ports  come  to  as  many  as  he  says  was 
the  normal  number.  He  wrote,  as  follows,  in  speaking  of  eighteen  vessels  then 
in  that  port  : 

"They  will  without  any  Restraint  Load  and  carry  from  thence  to  several  Ports  in  his 

1   Chap.  XII.  2   ,-2S>  I.R.  vol.  10,  f.  4. 

3   This  is  so  printed.      It  unquestionably  means  taffin  (rum).  *  MSS.  J)ue.  vol.  3,  p.  106,  and  B.  48  (Canada). 



Majtys  Plantations,  Brandy,  Wine,  Iron,  Sail  Cloth,  Rum,  Molasses  &  several  other 
French  Commoditys  with  which  there  is  from  80  to  90  Sail  generally  Load  with  in  a  Year, 
these  Vessels  generally  carry  Lumber,  Bricks  &  live  stock  there,  they  commonly  clear 
out  for  Newfoundland,  tho  never  design  to  go  farther  than  Lewisburg,  often  they  sell  their 
vessels  as  well  as  Cargoes." 

The  prosperous  farmers  of  Nova  Scotia  shared  in  a  simple  way  in  trade  with 
Louisbourg.  Their  shipments  were  made  mostly  from  Baie  Verte  on  the  Gulf 
coast,  although  there  are  instances  of  vessels  of  ten  tons  making  the  long  voyage 
from  the  Bay  of  Fundy  to  Louisbourg.  Ordinarily  they  were  not  interfered 
with,  and  Verville's  theory  that  the  Acadians  were  of  more  value  to  Isle  Royale 
where  they  were,  than  if  they  had  migrated,  was  borne  out.  At  times  Armstrong, 
then  in  charge  of  Nova  Scotia,  attempted  to  stop  this  intercourse,  and  on  one 
occasion  his  reply  to  St.  Ovide  being  unsatisfactory,  de  Pensens  was  sent  to  him 
to  declare  that  they  would  arm  a  ship  to  prevent  him  making  seizures  on  the 
high  seas.  He  desisted  in  face  of  this  threat,  which  would  have  been  proved,  in 
the  contrary  case,  to  have  been  empty,  for  Maurepas  refused  permission  to  fit 
out  this  vessel.1 

The  entrep6t  which  should  flourish  by  freedom  of  exchange,  foreseen  by 
Raudot,  was  struggling  with  the  enactments  of  its  rulers  to  come  into  existence. 
The  furniture  and  axes 2  which  New  England  sent  there,  the  winnowing  machines 
with  which  Louisbourg  supplied  Quebec,  the  rum  and  molasses,  the  sail  cloth  and 
iron  she  exported  to  the  British  colonies,  none  of  them  her  own  production, 
indicate  his  sureness  of  judgment  as  to  the  proper  foundation  for  a  flourishing 
colony  situated  on  Isle  Royale.  The  scanty  records  of  the  trade  which  are 
available  make  tenable  the  hypothesis  that  had  the  civil  population  of  Louisbourg 
been  left  untrammelled  to  develop  its  commercial  possibilities,  it  would  have  been 
so  prosperous  and  populous  an  establishment  that  its  later  history  would  have 
been  entirely  different. 

Raudot's  views  were  as  far  in  advance  of  his  time  as  was  the  commercial 
Treaty  of  Utrecht,  the  provisions  of  which  waited  until  the  younger  Pitt  in  1787 
forced  them  through  an  unwilling  House  of  Commons.  Maurepas'  objections 
to  this  trade  were  held  in  common  with  all  his  contemporaries,  and  the  ineffective- 
ness of  his  opposition  was  probably  owing  to  his  lack  of  force  rather  than  a 
philosophic  acquiescence  in  a  state  of  affairs  which  was  theoretically  wrong,  but 
practically  extremely  profitable.  In  at  least  one  instance  he  connived  in  it. 
When  Ste.  Marie  was  pressing,  in  1724,  for  repayment  of  his  expenses,  1893  1., 
incurred  in  1718-19  in  visiting  Boston,  Maurepas  wrote  to  St.  Ovide  that 
Ste.  Marie  brought  back  goods  presumably  to  sell,  and  rejected  the  claim.3 

In  the  earlier  days  of  the  colony  the  merchants  of  France  objected  to  it,  for 

1  I.R.  vol.  8.  2  1 100  in  1740.  8  I.R.  vol.  39,  B,  vol.  48,  f.  716. 

78  LOCAL  PROTESTS  1728-1738 

their  chief  business  was  the  sale  of  commodities  to  the  new  settlers,  later  they 
were  silent  on  the  subject.  The  merchants  of  Louisbourg  objected  from  time 
to  time,  notably  in  1728,  and  again  ten  years  later.  On  the  former  occasion  St. 
Ovide  was  accused  with  full  details  of  carrying  on  this  trade  through  De  Pensens, 
under  the  names  of  Dacarette  and  Lartigue.  It  appeared  as  if  Maurepas  intended 
to  take  some  action,  for  he  wrote  to  De  Mezy  sending  a  list  of  questions  about 
the  trade,  with  the  assurance  that  his  reply  would  be  confidential,  so  that  he 
might  not  be  restrained  by  the  fear  of  incriminating  St.  Ovide.1  De  Mezy  replied 
on  the  3<Dth  of  November  and  the  2nd  of  December,  in  some  fashion  which  was 
satisfactory  to  the  Minister.  His  replies  unfortunately  are  not  extant.  St.  Ovide 
contented  himself  with  a  short  denial. 

In  1738  an  anonymous  letter  was  forwarded  to  the  Minister  on  this  com- 
merce and  its  abuses.2  It  was  followed  by  a  new  attack  against  Du  Vivier  which 
goes  into  detail.  It  says  he  bought  the  cargoes  of  two  French  vessels  which  he 
resold  ;  that  he  took  a  cargo  of  molasses  which  he  sent  to  Boston  in  partnership 
with  Faneuil,  who  had  traded  with  Louisbourg  through  one  Morel ;  that  they 
took  money  from  the  country,  as  they  sold  for  cash  ;  that  they  put  in  quarantine 
a  vessel  from  Martinique  on  account  of  small-pox,  because  two  vessels  of  Du 
Vivier  arrived  shortly  afterwards  ;  that  Du  Vivier  forestalled  the  market  by 
having  early  news  from  Quebec  ;  and  they  did  not  hesitate  to  say  that  Le 
Normant  was  interested  in  Du  Vivier's  transactions  ;  and  that  they  enriched 
themselves  by  taking  provisions  from  the  King's  stores  in  the  autumn,  selling 
them  at  a  high  price,  and  replacing  them  the  following  year  when  they 
were  cheap. 

But  however  the  trade  was  carried  on,  it  was  unquestionably  large,  profitable, 
and  essential  to  Isle  Royale.  The  real  complaint  of  its  merchants  was  of  the 
competition  of  military  and  civil  officials,  whose  influence  and  command  of 
information  gave  them  great  advantages.  The  only  people  to  suffer  were  the 
Admiralty  officials,  who  found  their  confiscations  overruled  by  the  Governor  and 
the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur.  Ship-owners  benefited  by  full  cargoes.  None 
of  them  were  placed  at  a  disadvantage  except  vessels  with  letters  of  marque,  which, 
relying  on  the  edict  of  1727,  made  these  captures. 

In  trade,  like  the  fishing  at  Canso  before  the  incursion  of  Smart,  all  things 
were  peaceable  and  quiet,  the  French  and  English  in  defiance  of  the  laws  trading 
"  together  in  all  amity  and  love,"  a  happier  state  than  in  the  West  Indies,  where 
mutual  savagery  brought  on  the  war  between  England  and  Spain.  But  the 
protests  of  Mr.  Newton  to  his  Government,  the  prohibition  of  Maurepas  to  his 
officials,  both  disregarded,  caused  less  irritation  than  the  guarda  costas  and  the 
pirates  of  Jamaica.  Thus  prohibited  trade  in  Northern  waters  led  to  a  friendly 

1  I.R.  B,  52,  f.  605,  60-.  -  I.R.  vol.  20,  f.  311.     See  Appendix. 

1728-1738  THE  LIGHTHOUSE  79 

intercourse  between  Isle  Royale  and  the  sea-ports  of  the  Puritans,  not  to  mutila- 
tions which  inflamed  against  the  Spaniard  both  the  humanity  and  the  patriotism 
of  England.1 

The  fishermen  had  in  the  earliest  times  placed  on  the  knoll  of  the  eastern  side  of 
the  harbour  a  beacon  to  serve  as  a  guide  to  its  entrance.  This  proved  unsatisfactory 
as  the  commerce  of  the  port  grew,  and  it  was  visited  by  other  ships  than  those  of 
its  ordinary  trade.  The  first  foreign  ship,  other  than  English,  which  visited  the 
port,  was  the  Spaniard,  Nostra  Signora  de  la  Toledo^  homeward  bound  from 
Havana.2  Three  years  later  the  Mercury,  a  ship  of  the  French  East  India 
Company,  came  into  Louisbourg  with  sixty  men  ill  of  scurvy,  who  in  the  pure 
air  of  Isle  Royale  soon  became  convalescent.  When  the  project  for  a  lighthouse, 
to  take  the  place  of  the  beacon,  was  seriously  considered,  the  difficulty  of  landing 
coal  for  its  fire  was  an  objection  to  the  best  site.  The  home  authorities  proposed 
on  this  account  placing  the  light  on  the  clock  tower  of  the  citadel,  but  this 
project  was  fortunately  abandoned,  and  the  lighthouse  was  erected  on  the  eastern 
side  of  the  harbour,  where  its  ruins  are  still  to  be  seen.  It  was  first  lit  in  1734, 
and  the  statement  is  that  it  was  visible  for  six  leagues  at  sea.  It  was  burned  on 
the  night  of  the  nth  of  September  1736,  but  was  immediately  rebuilt  of  fire- 
proof materials.3 

St.  Ovide  and  De  Mezy  acted  in  harmony  in  only  one  matter — their  efforts 
to  restrict  the  excessive  consumption  of  intoxicants.  Although  De  Mezy  was 
effective  in  the  steps  taken  in  connection  with  the  Chameau,  the  laxity  of 
administration  in  his  department  shortly  thereafter  became  evident,  through  the 
death  of  Des  Goutins  the  Treasurer.  St.  Ovide  insisted  on  having  particulars 
of  De  Mezy's  accounts,  which  he  was  asked  to  approve,  and  of  verifying  the 
contents  of  the  Treasurer's  chest.  It  was  found  empty.  Nevertheless,  De  Mezy 
took  offence  at  what  he  considered  an  interference  with  his  rights.  He  took 
high  ground  in  writing  to  the  Minister.  He  expressed  his  extreme  repugnance, 
after  "  thirty-seven  years  of  service,  to  submitting  his  documents  to  a  naval 
officer,  who,  although  meritorious  and  of  easy  intercourse,  has  neither  the 
experience,  nor  other  qualities  superior  to  his  in  a  matter  concerning  my 
administration." 4 

Maurepas  did  not  accept  his  views,  but  replied  that  he  was  wrong  in  putting 
the  blame  on  Des  Goutins  when  his  own  accounts  should  have  been  better 

1  Camb.  History,  vol.  vi.  p.  24.  2  August  10,  1726. 

3  In  the  new  lighthouse  the  light  was  supplied  from  forty-five  "  pots  "  (about  twenty-two  and  a  half  gallons  of  oil), 
fed  through  thirty-one  pipes  in  a  copper  circle  to  the  wicks  which  gave  the  flame.     As  this  oil  was  held  in  an  open  bronze 
basin,  three  feet  in  diameter,  and  ten  inches  deep,  there  was  constant  danger  of  fire.     This  was   provided   against  by 
sustaining  this  ring  on  pieces  of  cork,  which,  if  fire  took  place,  would  burn  through  and  let  the  ring  fall  into  the  oil  where 
it  would  be  extinguished.     No  wood  was  used  in  the  construction  of  the  tower. 

4  "  A  un  officer  de  guerre  qui  quoique  homme  de  merite,  et  de  tres  bonne  societe,  n'a  ni  1'usage,  ni  les  services,  ni 
autres  qualites  superieures  a  moi  dans  une  affaire  de  mon  ministere  "  (vol.  9,  Nov.  24,  1727). 


kept.1  De  Mezy  admitted  that  his  books  were  not  in  perfect  order,  his  excuse 
being  that  the  entire  financial  business  for  the  year  was  transacted  in  the  fortnight 
following  the  arrival  of  the  King's  ship  with  remittances.  He  further  excused 
himself  by  saying  that  the  records  were  in  extremely  bad  order  when  he  came  to 
the  colony,  and  that  it  had  taken  them  some  time  to  correct  them.  This  is  borne 
out  by  the  documents  themselves.  By  1724  they  are  much  fuller,  and  on  the 
surface  appear  more  accurate  than  in  the  earlier  years  of  the  colony. 

But  the  disregard  of  instructions  was  evident  in  more  serious  ways  than 
book-keeping.  De  Mezy  admitted  having  disobeyed  orders  about  rations,  not 
without  justification,  for  he  says  he  had  given  food  from  the  King's  stores  to 
four  widows  who  were  destitute,  but  that  hereafter  he  would  execute  orders 
without  mercy.  Without  any  charge  having  been  made  against  him,  he  assures 
the  Minister  that  the  only  funds  he  can  touch  are  those  of  the  extraordinary 
expenditures  15,000  or  20,000  livres.  He  was  largely  responsible  for  so 
important  an  edict  as  that  of  October  1727,  in  reference  to  Colonial  Trade,  not 
being  registered  or  put  in  force  in  Louisbourg  until  October  I73O.2  Other 
tangible  evidence  of  neglect  of  royal  instructions  was  before  the  eyes  of  all.  An 
ordinance  had  been  passed  establishing  the  width  of  the  quay,  and  another 
forbidding  building  within  350  toises  of  the  fortifications,  yet  in  a  few  years 
one  cronier  had  built  a  stone  house  within  the  prohibited  distance,  and  there 
were  also  encroachments  on  the  quay.  This  took  place  in  so  small  a  town  that 
from  any  point  on  the  ramparts  every  house  could  be  seen.  That  the  infraction 
of  regulations,  presumably  important,  could  go  so  far  under  the  eyes  of  the 
Governor,  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  and  the  Engineer,  that  it  required 
ministerial  action  to  stop  it,  illustrates  the  weakness  of  the  system  on  which  the 
French  attempted  to  administer  their  colonial  empire. 

Whether  the  complaints  of  the  Minister  against  De  Mezy,  founded  on 
these  irregularities  and  his  quarrels  with  St.  Ovide,  led  to  the  change  in  his 
department,  which  was  determined  on  by  Maurepas,  is  uncertain.  De  Mezy 
had  completed  about  forty  years  in  the  King's  service,  and  when  St.  Ovide 
heard  that  he  was  to  be  succeeded  he  wrote  to  the  Minister,  saying  that  he 
trusted  he  would  select  a  new  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  of  a  gentle  disposition, 
with  whom  the  merchants  and  people  could  carry  on  business  in  comfort.3  The 
favourable  impression  the  younger  De  Mezy  (usually  known  as  Le  Normant) 
had  made,  or  possibly  family  influence,  led  to  his  succeeding  his  father.4  He 
had  been  in  the  colony  during  the  greater  part  of  his  father's  tenure  of  office, 
employed  first  as  a  subordinate,  and  then  as  principal  clerk,  and  during  his 

1   R,  vols.  52  and  53.  »  B,  55/5-0.  3  I.R.  vol.  12,  Nov.  25,  1731. 

4  The  De  Mczys  were  of  the  family  of  that  Le  Normant  who  was  the  husband  of  Madame  de  Pompadour,  and  at 
a  Fcrmicr-Gencral  had  great  influence  before  she  rose  to  power.  Oct.  8,  1733  is  the  date  on  which  young  Le  Normant 
wrote  to  Mnurepas  his  thanks.  The  official  appointments  were  made  March  23,  1735. 


father's  leave  of  absence  had  in  his  place  administered  the  office.  He  was 
therefore  well  fitted  by  experience  for  the  position.  But  he  began  his  admini- 
stration with  the  same  quarrels  with  St.  Ovide  as  had  disturbed  the  relations 
between  the  Governor  and  his  father,  and  in  one  of  his  first  important  acts 
he  displayed  a  lack  of  judgment  which  seriously  imperilled  the  well-being  of 
the  colony. 

In  1732  the  Ruby  came  into  port  with  small-pox  on  board.  Although  from 
time  to  time  there  had  been  regulations  establishing  a  quarantine,  once  against  the 
plague  which  raged  in  Toulon  and  Marseilles,  and  at  another  against  a  pest  in 
Boston,  at  this  time  no  precautions  were  taken,  or  if  taken  were  ineffective. 

The  disease  spread  throughout  the  colony  and  many  of  all  ages  died,  not 
only  sailors  and  passengers  of  the  ill-fated  ship,  but  residents  of  the  colony  and 
soldiers  of  its  garrison.  The  ship,  however,  proceeded  to  Quebec,  leaving  those 
who  were  sick  on  shore,  replacing  them  by  sailors  taken  from  the  merchant's 
vessels.  Further  misfortune  followed  the  survivors,  who  late  in  the  year  were 
shipped  to  Quebec  on  a  brigantine  which  was  wrecked  at  Ingonish.  This 
epidemic  was  followed  by  a  famine,  the  cause  of  which  Le  Normant  explained 
by  the  method  by  which  the  inhabitants  supplied  themselves.  The  earliest 
vessels  to  arrive  were  those  of  the  Basque  ports.  Their  captains  lent  the 
provisions  of  their  large  crews  to  the  inhabitants.  These  people  counted  on 
returning  them  by  purchases  from  the  provisions  brought  from  Canada.  If  this 
supply  was  short,  it  had  for  the  greater  part  to  be  utilized  in  returning  these 
borrowings,  which  the  Basques  required  for  their  homeward  voyage,  instead  of 
being  retained  by  the  inhabitants  for  consumption  during  the  winter.1  While 
the  Quebec  vessels  were  there  in  the  summer  the  inhabitants,  Jiving  on  their 
borrowings,  offered  only  meagre  prices,  and  therefore,  De  Mezy  said,  fewer 
vessels  came  from  Quebec.2  This  condition  was  aggravated,  as  the  Quebec 
authorities  explain,  by  a  local  regulation  that  Quebec  vessels  should  not  leave 
port  without  selling  their  cargoes.  But  whatever  were  the  causes  the  situation 
was  most  serious  in  the  autumn  of  I733,3  and  with  an  optimism  for  which  no 
grounds  are  shown,  Le  Normant  delayed  action.  St.  Ovide  changed  from 
the  devotee  of  Costebelle's  description,  or  justified  by  the  gravity  of  the  situation, 
says  he  trusted  Providence  less  than  Le  Normant ;  but  it  was  not  until  St. 
Ovide  declared  that  he  would  send  a  vessel  to  the  Minister  with  a  statement  of 
their  condition,  brought  about  by  Le  Normant's  refusal  to  supply  funds  to 
purchase  supplies  in  New  York,  that  the  latter  consented  to  take  action.4  Two 

1  I.R.  vol.  14,  f.  175.  2  This  is  not  borne  out  by  the  officials'  returns  which  are  available. 

8  I.R.  vol.  14,  f.  126. 

4  "  De  vous  seul  monsieur  depend  aujourd'huy  la  conservation  ou  la  perte  de  cette  colonie,  que  j'alois  faire  embarquer 
un  officier  le  lendemain  sur  un  bailment  qui  devait  partir  pour  France  a  fin  d'informer  Mgr."  (Nov.  14,  1733,  vol.  14, 
f.  77). 


82  ST.  OVIDE'S  PREVISION  1734 

small  vessels,  under  charge  of  De  Cannes  and  Bonnaventure,  were  sent  late  in 
the  year  for  these  supplies,  New  York  being  chosen  in  preference  to  Boston, 
where  the  plague  had  recently  existed,  but  they  did  not  return  before  spring, 
and  the  colony  passed  a  winter  in  want,  mitigated  only  by  the  opportune  arrival 
of  one  vessel  from  Quebec  and  one  from  New  England. 

In  1734,  at  the  beginning  of  the  outbreak  of  war  between  France  and  the 
Emperor,  the  unsettled  affairs  on  the  continent  gave  rise  to  rumours  of  war 
with  England,  and  St.  Ovide  took  up  the  question  of  their  relations  with  the 
New  England  colonies.  He  points  out  in  a  letter  in  cipher  l  to  the  Minister 
that  the  English,  particularly  those  of  New  England,  dislike  the  existence  of  Isle 
Royale  as  a  French  colony.  He  dwells  on  the  necessity  of  being  advised  early 
of  the  outbreak  of  war,  as  it  is  important  to  take  the  offensive.  In  another 
letter  he  lays  before  the  Minister  the  steps  which  they  propose  to  take  to  protect 
themselves,  which  were  to  complete  the  fortifications  between  the  citadel  and 
the  Dauphin  battery,  which,  although  projected  from  the  first  had  not  yet  been 
carried  out,  and  to  protect,  by  chevaux  de  frisey  the  quay  where  a  landing  from 
boats  could  be  made.  He  then  gives  his  opinion  of  what  might  occur  ;  which 
was,  that  if  England  made  an  attack  on  Louisbourg  it  would  be  by  New 
England  militiamen,  of  whom  he  had  not  a  high  opinion  ;  that  they  would  be 
supported  by  English  men-of-war,  and  that  they  would  come  very  early  in  the 
year  in  order  to  prevent  the  fishermen  from  France,  or  vessels  of  force  from 
entering  Louisbourg  ;  that  they  would  not  make  their  base  at  Port  Dauphin  or 
Baie  des  Espagnols  as  apparently  some  thought,  as  these  points  were  too  distant, 
but  that  the  landing  would  be  made  in  Gabarus  or  Mir£  bays.  His  plan  of 
campaign,  if  the  King  intends  the  offensive,  with  all  its  advantages,  is  that  two 
men-of-war  and  a  frigate  should  be  sent  early  in  the  year  with  four  or  five  new 
companies  for  the  garrison  and  six  hundred  regular  troops  and  munitions  of 
war.  These,  with  volunteers  from  Louisbourg  and  Indians  would  make  adequate 
force  to  take  Annapolis  Royal,  if  secrecy  and  celerity  could  be  attained.  He 
points  out,  notwithstanding  the  previous  views  he  had  expressed  to  the  Minister, 
that  the  Acadians  were  not  to  be  depended  on.  He  informs  him  that  Annapolis 
Royal2  is  in  a  wretched  condition,  a  statement  quite  within  the  bounds  of  truth, 
and  that  the  English  in  Canso  are  in  such  a  poor  condition  that  its  commander 
has  instructions  to  abandon  the  port  at  the  outbreak  of  war.  He  intended 
further  to  supplement  the  force  with  the  forty  men  of  the  garrison  of  Isle  St. 
Jean,  and  the  Indians  of  that  island.  He  also  assured  the  Minister  that  not 
only  Placentia,  but  Boston,  would  easily  fall  before  such  an  expedition.  He 

1  Letters  of  St.  O.  to  Minister,  in  particular  Oct.  28,  1734  (I.R.  vol.  15). 

2  The  garrison  of  Annapolis  and  Canso  was  nine  companies  :    360  officers  and   men,  five  at  Annapolis,  four  at  Canto 
(1734,  B.T.N.S.  vol.  33,  f.  361).     "Canso  lies  naked  and  defenceless"  (1734^  A.  &  W.I.  vol.  30).     Kilby  says  Canso 
is  so  ill-prepared  that  100  men  could  capture  it  in  one  hour  (1743,  A.  &  W.I.  vol.  594). 

1738  DEPARTURE  OF  ST.  OVIDE  83 

followed  this  by  a  second  letter,  saying  that  twenty  companies  are  necessary, 
part  of  whom  should  be  commanded  by  local  officers  ;  repeated  earnestly  his 
request  for  munitions  ;  and  referring  to  his  forty-five  years  of  service,  said  to 
the  Minister  that  the  experience  of  the  past  made  him  fear  for  the  future. 

These  representations,  made  ten  years  before  the  war  broke  out,  so  accurately 
forecast  the  course  of  events,  that  St.  Ovide  in  1745  might,  with  a  sad  satisfac- 
tion, have  recalled  to  his  associates  the  predictions  which  he  made  at  this  time. 
St.  Ovide  hoped,  if  there  was  no  war,  that  in  the  troubled  conditions  France 
might  again  get  possession  of  Acadia  by  exchange,  for  it  would  be  of  infinite 
importance  to  France.  He  based  this  hope  on  the  indifference  to  Nova  Scotia 
of  the  English  Government,  as  shown  by  the  continuous  neglect  of  that  pro- 
vince from  1710,  the  year  of  its  capture,  to  1734,  the  time  of  his  writing  in  this 

General  matters  of  defence  probably  engaged  the  attention  of  the  French 
authorities  at  this  time.  Chaussegros  de  Lery  combated  an  idea,  which  he  says 
was  prevalent  in  France,  that  Louisbourg  was  the  highway  "  le  boulevard  "  to 
Quebec  and  Canada.  He  said  that  a  naval  expedition  against  Canada  would 
require  three  squadrons,  and  that  Quebec  was  more  vulnerable  by  way  of  the 
woods.  Were  it  not  for  the  general  policy  of  France  in  relation  to  her  colonies 
during  this  period,  it  might  be  thought  that  the  views  of  Chaussegros  had  more 
weight  with  the  Minister  than  those  of  St.  Ovide  and  his  successors. 

In  1737  the  colony  again  suffered  from  famine,  but  affairs  had  so  far 
adjusted  themselves  that  St.  Ovide  was  able  to  go  to  France  in  the  autumn  of 
1738,  leaving,  as  before,  the  government  in  the  hands  of  De  Bourvilie,  while 
Sabatier  discharged  the  duties  of  Le  Normant  de  Mezy,  who  was  promoted  to 
the  Intendancy  of  St.  Dominique,  as  the  first  step  towards  the  highest  position  in 
the  administration  of  the  navy.  (As  Intendant-General  he  was  practically  joint 
Minister  for  the  few  months  in  which  Massiac  held  the  portfolio.)  l 

St.  Ovide  does  not  seem  to  have  thought  that  he  would  not  return  to  Isle 
Royale.  Not  long  before  that  he  had  obtained  a  large  grant  at  the  head  of  the 
harbour,  and  more  recently  a  splendid  tract  of  land  on  the  Mire  River.2  In  the 
ordinary  course  of  business,  after  his  arrival  in  France,  he  wrote  to  the  Minister 
about  an  increase  in  that  garrison,  and  Maurepas  in  January  said  that  he  would  await 
his  suggestions  before  dealing  with  the  question  of  promotions.3  But  between  this 
time  and  March  the  Minister  had  taken  a  more  hostile  and  determined  attitude 
than  he  had  yet  shown.  St.  Ovide  went,  or  was  summoned,  to  Versailles,  and 
had  a  painful  interview  with  Maurepas,  who  charged  him  with  many  faults.  The 
Minister  told  him  that  he  was  acquainted  with  a  transaction  in  which,  it  was 
said,  that  as  far  back  as  1725  St.  Ovide  had  a  pecuniary  interest  in  Ganet's 

1  La  Cour-Gayet,  pp.  211-217.  a  1737,  B,  65,  451.  3  B,  68,  f.  i. 

84  HIS  RETIREMENT  1738 

contract  for  the  fortifications.1  St.  Ovide  admitted  that  the  offer  of  a  share  had 
been  made  to  him,  but  declared  that  he  had  declined  it.  He  said  the  sworn 
testimony  of  two  survivors  of  the  transaction,  Daligrand,  a  merchant  of  the 
town,  and  Ganet,  the  contractor,  would  bear  out  his  statement.  De  Pensens,  who 
was  alleged  to  be  his  partner,  had  died,  and  the  incident  had  become  public 
through  a  clause  in  his  will.  The  Minister  does  not  seem  to  have  been  con- 
vinced by  his  explanations.  The  charges  have  this  much  prima  facie  evidence  in 
their  support,  that  it  was  through  De  Pensens,  St.  Ovide  was  said,  in  the 
accusations  of  1728,  to  have  carried  on  his  illicit  trading.2  No  further  steps 
were  taken,  and  St.  Ovide,  bearing  his  wounds?  and  the  burden  of  his  forty- 
seven  years  of  service,  was  permitted  to  retire  with  a  pension  of  3000  livres. 

As  a  civil  administrator  he  had  little  success,  but  the  evils  of  his  administra- 
tion seemed  to  be  as  much  due  to  the  lack  of  discipline  and  inspection  as  to  the 
personal  faults  of  the  man.  His  quarrels  with  both  De  Mezys,  his  slackness  at 
the  time  of  Smart's  attack  at  Canso,  the  reiterated  reports,  some  of  them  circum- 
stantial, which  were  made  of  his  complicity  in  illegal  trade,  were,  beyond  occasional 
reproofs  and  exhortations  to  amend  his  ways,  ignored  by  Maurepas.  During  the 
whole  period  no  report  by  an  independent  person  seems  to  have  been  made  on 
the  condition  of  the  colony.  Those  familiar  with  affairs  can  well  picture  the 
slackness  and  abuses  which  would  exist  in  a  distant  establishment,  uninspected 
for  nearly  a  generation,  from  which  no  report  of  irregularity  received  more  than 
a  rebuke  from  the  central  administration.  This  laxity  is  the  more  astonishing  as 
both  the  colonies  and  the  navy  were  under  the  direction  of  Maurepas,  and 
although  the  correspondence  contains  remarks  on  Louisbourg  in  the  reports  of 
the  voyages 4  there  is  nothing  to  show  that  the  Minister  ever  sought  information  as 
to  conditions  in  the  colonies  from  the  captains  of  the  ships  he  annually  sent  out. 
Whether  this  slackness  was  the  result  of  indifference,  incompetence,  or  hopeless- 
ness, the  results  were  a  demoralized  administration  and  a  stunted  development. 

1   St.  Ovide,  April  4,  vol.  21,  p.  290.  2  B,  52,  f.  605.     Cf.  Appendix. 

1  Thc«c  wounds  were  a  shattered  shoulder-blade  received  in  an  attack  on  St.  John's,  Newfoundland,  and  three  others 
received  in  action.  4  Arch.  Nat.  Marine,  B4. 


THE  connection  of  St.  Ovide  with  Isle  Royale  began  when  he  landed  with  the 
one  hundred  and  forty  founders  of  Louisbourg  in  1713.  Four  years  later  he 
became  its  Governor.  By  the  time  of  his  retirement  he  had  seen  most  of  the 
little  harbours  along  the  coast  become  fishing  establishments,  and  the  civil 
population  of  the  island  grow  to  something  over  thirty-eight  hundred,  and  the 
commerce,  which  had  begun  with  the  few  vessels  which  the  people  of  Placentia 
had  brought  with  them,  increase  to  a  fleet  of  great  importance.  In  1738  seventy- 
three  vessels  came  from  France,  forty-two  from  New  England  and  Acadia,  and 
twenty-nine  from  Canada  and  the  West  Indies.  At  the  latter  date  some  fifty- 
four  vessels  of  the  inhabitants  were  engaged  in  coasting  and  trading,  besides  sixty 
odd  schooners  and  one  hundred  fishing-boats  which  pursued  the  staple  industry 
of  the  coast,  cod-fishing.  The  value  of  this  industry  was  about  3,000,000  livres, 
and  the  overseas  commerce  of  the  island,  one  year  with  another,  was  about  an 
equal  amount.  Shipbuilding  was  established  in  the  island  and  was  carried  on  on 
the  Mire  as  well  as  at  Louisbourg,  although  many  vessels  were  brought  from  New 
England.  A  little  later  the  British  authorities  complained  that  "  in  the  fall, 
after  the  British  guard-ship  has  left  Canso,  the  French  go  to  Pictou,  build  vessels, 
and  cut  some  of  the  finest  mast  timber  in  the  world  and  take  it  to  Louisbourg  in 
the  early  spring."  l 

The  project  of  fortifications  as  originally  laid  down  was  finished.  Beginning 
at  the  water  front  on  the  harbour  side,  the  Dauphin  bastion  and  spur  protected 
the  principal  approach  to  the  town,  and  swept  the  water  front  of  the  harbour. 
Between  it  and  the  King's  bastion  ran  an  ascending  curtain  wall  to  the  height  on 
which  the  citadel  was  placed.  Across  its  opening  on  the  town  side  stood  a 
stately  stone  building,  the  Chateau  St.  Louis,  of  four  stories  with  slated  roof. 
The  only  entrance  was  across  a  draw-bridge  thus  described  by  a  New  England 
observer  : 

"  The  entrance  is  by  a  large  gate  over  which  is  a  draw-bridge  over  a  small  ditch  through 
the  whole  building,  in  passing  which  on  the  left  hand  the  door  opens  into  a  King's 

1  C.O.  y/.     Cf.  Appendix. 


Chappell,  on   the   right  hand  into  a  dungeon,  one  of  which  has  a  greater  resemblance  of 
Hell  than  the  other  of  Heaven."  l 

The  Citadel  contained,  on  the  southern  side,  the  apartments  of  the 
Governor  and  the  King's  Chapel,  which  served  as  parish  church  ;  the  other 
half  was  occupied  by  the  barracks.  The  whole  work  was  the  Bastion  du  Roy, 
the  centre  of  the  system  of  fortification.  Between  this  and  the  sea  coast  were 
the  Queen's  bastion  and  the  Prince's  half-bastion.  These  works  by  1735  were 
in  an  advanced  state,  although  but  a  few  guns  were  mounted,  for  at  this  time 
the  defence  of  the  town  depended  on  the  island  battery,  protecting  the  mouth 
of  the  harbour  with  a  battery  of  twenty  guns  broadside  to  the  narrow  entrance, 
and  on  the  shore  of  the  harbour,  facing  its  entrance,  the  Royal  battery  completed 
with  its  towers  and  with  its  guns  mounted.  After  that  date  there  was  taken  up 
by  the  Engineers  the  fortifications  of  the  eastern  part  of  the  town  as  shown  in 
the  plans. 

There  is  some  material  to  make  a  picture  of  the  town.  Monsieur  Verrier, 
the  Engineer,  whiled  away  the  hours  of  the  winter  of  1731  in  making  a  drawing 
of  the  town  from  the  harbour  side  ;  another  from  the  sea,  drawn  by  Bastide, 
shows  it  substantially  as  St.  Ovide  left  it  ;  but  in  the  way  of  description  little 
exists,  except  the  few  references  to  the  condition  of  the  people,  given  by  Don 
Antonio  d'Ulloa,  a  Spanish  man  of  science  and  captain  in  her  navy,  who  was 
at  Louisbourg  in  1745  under  circumstances  to  be  recounted  later.2 

Verrier's  view  is  confirmed  by  the  written  description,  and  by  those  which 
are  found  ornamenting  some  of  the  maps,  notably  that  of  the  first  siege.  The 
houses  were  built  for  the  most  part  in  wood  on  stone  foundations,  and  were 
from  eight  to  eleven  feet  in  height  ;  but  some  of  them  had  the  first  story  in 
stone,  the  upper  in  wood.  This  description  and  Verrier's  view  would  seem  to 
indicate  that  the  restrictions  as  to  height  had  been  disregarded,  but  justify 
D'Ulloa's  description.  The  hospital  would,  in  the  general  coup  */'#/'/,  go  far  to 
redeem  the  appearance  of  the  town,  for  it  dominated  it  as  the  Chateau  of  St. 
Louis  the  citadel,  and  their  slender  fleches,  so  characteristic  of  French  archi- 
tecture of  the  period,  would,  from  sea,  have  been  a  guide  as  certain  and  as  visible 
as  the  lighthouse.  It  is  also  characteristic  of  the  methods  of  the  two  peoples, 
that  there  seems  to  have  been  in  all  the  British  colonies  no  buildings  so  imposing 
as  those  which  the  French  Government  thought  suitable  for  this  little  establishment. 

Beginning  at  the  water  front  near  the  Dauphin  gate,  the  principal  entrance 
to  the  town,  the  first  buildings  were  the  King's  store-houses,  and  lodged  in  the 
space  between  this  and  the  inner  angle  of  the  King's  bastion  were  the  dwellings 

1  C.O.  Ad.  Captains'  Letters,  No.  2655. 

"*  B.N.  Geo.  C,  18,850.      Brit.  Mus.,  King's,  119,  9$  A.      A  facsimile  is   in  the  Archives  at  Ottawa,  and  another  in 
the  possession  of  the  writer  is  given  as  a  frontispiece  j  of  the  former,  Bastide's  view  is  opposite. 

1738  HOUSES  OF  THE  PEOPLE  87 

of  four  military  officers.  Next  on  the  water  front  were  the  establishments  of 
some  merchants,  and  the  official  residence  of  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  which 
De  Mezy  had  built  for  himself  in  stone  at  a  cost  of  20,000 1.  Next  to  this 
house  was  one  belonging  to  Madame  Rodrigue,  widow  of  one  of  the  principal 
merchants  in  the  place,  which  was  22  feet  square  on  a  piece  of  land  44  x  150 
feet,  which  Bigot  certified  in  1739  to  be  worth  5500 1.1  This  family,  like  many 
others  of  the  merchants,  were  well  off,  "  fort  a  leur  aise,"  enriched  by  their 
commerce  with  Europe  and  America ;  their  prosperity  all  founded,  to  the 
amazement  of  D'Ulloa,  on  their  single  product  the  cod  of  Isle  Royale,  which  he 
states  is  the  best  from  American  waters. 

Next  to  these  came  the  Chapel  and  Convent  of  the  Recollets,  and  then 
along  the  water  front  some  properties  belonging  to  the  civil  staff.  About  the 
centre  of  the  town  the  Sisters  of  the  Congregation  had  made  a  somewhat 
improvident  bargain,  as  it  was  regarded  at  the  time,  in  buying  from  De  Beaucours 
a  lot  on  which  they  established  their  convent  and  school.  So  large  a  part  of  the 
town  was  occupied  by  government  buildings  and  the  properties  of  the  military 
and  civil  staff,  that  the  working  population  must  have  been  placed  along  the 
shores  of  the  harbour,  on  which  one  still  sees  the  foundations  of  many  buildings. 
Verrier,  the  Engineer,  had  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  the  Rue  d'Estrees  and  Scatarie 
running  through  to  the  newly  opened  Rue  de  l'H6pital,  where  his  principal 
neighbour  was  Cailly,  Lieutenant  of  the  Swiss,  who  had  bought  from  the  heirs 
of  Baron  de  L'Esperance  the  adjoining  property.  On  this  Verrier  had  built 
his  modest  habitation,  not  much  exceeding,  he  says,  the  estimated  cost  of  6000 1.2 
This  consisted  of  a  ground  floor,  which  held  a  kitchen,  and  annexed  thereto  a 
scullery  and  a  room  for  a  servant,  a  dining-room,  a  principal  bedroom,  and  two 
small  closets,  and  in  the  attic  his  study,  and  some  small  bedrooms  for  his  family. 
The  only  other  description  of  a  house  is  that  of  Delaforest,  who  came  to  Louis- 
bourg  in  1714  as  clerk,  and  in  1728  had  risen  to  be  Procureur  in  the  Admiralty 
Court.  This  he  had  to  demolish  because  it  was  under  the  little  hill  which  was 
to  be  occupied  by  the  Dauphin  bastion.  The  house  was  50  feet  long,  15 
wide,  built  with  pickets  and  was  covered  with  boards.  The  principal  room  was 
15  feet  square,  with  two  large  glazed  windows  looking  out  on  the  harbour, 
and  a  glazed  door  opening  out  to  the  garden.  It  had  two  cabinets,  each 
with  a  window,  a  kitchen  15  by  14  with  two  windows,  all  of  them  with  a 
loft  over.  There  was  a  lean-to  store-house,  15  by  12,  against  the  gable 
of  the  house,  a  court  of  30  by  70  in  front  surrounded  by  pickets  and  with 
a  large  gate.  At  the  back  was  a  garden  of  60  feet  square,  also  fenced  in, 
which  was  in  an  excellent  state  as  it  had  been  well  manured. 

The  normal  increase  in  the  population  was  good.     In   1726  it  had  been 

1  Ulloa,  vol.  ii.  p.  140.  2  Its  cost  was  28,945  1.,  for  which  St.  Ovide  was  reprimanded. 


951,  in  1734  it  was  1116,  and  in  1737  was  1463.  They  were  a  fruitful  people. 
There  were  157  families,  in  which  the  wife  was  resident,  in  1737,  and  the 
number  of  children  664.  The  custom  of  sending  women  to  the  colonies  did 
not  affect  Isle  Royale.  Many  Canadians  had  come  and  married  immigrants 
from  France,  while  Acadia  supplied  all  the  marriageable  maidens  the  growth 
of  the  population  required. 

These  figures  include  neither  the  garrison  nor  the  official  classes,  nor 
apparently  the  ecclesiastics,  of  whom  there  were  five  Brothers  of  Charity  at  the 
hospital,  three  Recollet  monks,  and  five  Sisters  of  the  Congregation.  The 
daughters  of  some  of  the  officers  were  sent  to  Canada  or  to  France  for  their 
education,  but  after  the  establishment  of  the  Nuns  at  Louisbourg  their  school 
seems  to  have  provided  adequately  for  the  education  of  the  young  people  of 
the  place.  There  does  not  seem  to  have  been,  however,  any  school  for  boys, 
and  yet  they  all  seem  to  have  written  fairly  well,  and  show  no  more  inaccuracy 
as  regards  grammar  and  spelling  than  the  majority  of  young  New  Englanders 
of  the  time. 

The  population  also  had  become,  with  the  growth  of  the  town,  somewhat 
more  complex.  There  was  a  gardener  in  the  town,  a  Master  of  Hydrography, 
and  the  ladies  of  the  town  had  the  choice  of  two  dressmakers.  One  Marie 
Paris,  born  in  Louisbourg,  apparently  had  the  larger  establishment,  for  with 
her  lived  three  sisters  and  a  maid  ;  while  the  widow  Radoub,  who  belonged  to 
St.  Malo,  lived  by  herself,  and,  if  her  name  had  any  significance,  exercised  a 
humbler  form  of  the  art.  Nor  was  the  gardener  the  only  person  who  promoted 
the  amenities  of  life  ;  one  Simon  Rondel  had  come  from  Namur  to  carry  on 
his  profession  as  a  teacher  of  dancing. 

The  earlier  disapproval  by  the  authorities  of  having  negroes  in  Cape  Breton 
had  broken  down  through  the  intercourse  with  the  West  Indies,  and  several  of 
the  families  had  negro  servants  brought  from  the  French  islands.1  They  were 
baptized,  and  in  the  majority  of  the  cases  the  godfather  and  godmother  were 
sons  and  daughters  of  the  officers  of  the  garrison. 

The  three  bells  for  the  chapel  in  the  citadel  were  blessed  and  baptized  as 
St.  Louis,  St.  John,  and  St.  Anthoine-Marie,  the  last  being  named  for  Sabatier, 
who  was  acting  at  the  time,  1733,  as  Ordonnateur,  and  for  Madame  Bourville, 
wife  of  the  King's  Lieutenant.  The  bells  for  the  Recollet  church  in  town  were 
also  baptized,  with  De  Lort,  a  merchant  of  the  town,  as  godfather,  and  Marie, 
the  wife  of  Despiet,  an  officer  of  the  garrison,  as  godmother. 

The  illegitimate  children  of  the  town  were  cared  for  by  people  of 
position  taking  the  responsibility  of  godfather  and  godmother  to  these  un- 
fortunates. These  were  not  numerous,  considering  the  fact  that  it  was  a  large 

1  St.  Ovide  to  the  Minister,  Nov.  27,  1724,  vol.  9. 

1738  THE  ENVIRONS  89 

garrison  town,  frequented  by  fishermen  for  six  months  of  the  year,  and  was  the 
home  of  families  from  which  the  husband  was  often  absent.  Practically  the 
full  number  is  known  owing  to  the  necessity  for  baptism  among  Roman 

In  the  environs  the  twenty-five  years  of  settlement  had  developed  the 
country,  as  is  shown  on  a  contemporary  map.  A  road  "  on  which  two 
carriages  could  drive  abreast,"  still  passable  except  for  the  bridges,  had  by  1738 
been  opened  through  to  the  Mire,  which  it  reached  opposite  Salmon  River. 
On  the  beautiful  meadows  which  form  its  banks,  St.  Ovide  had  his  concessions, 
and  in  his  neighbourhood  were  settled  some  few  retired  soldiers. 

The  Sieur  Jean  Milly,  a  principal  merchant  of  Louisbourg,  had  an 
establishment  not  distant  from  that  of  the  Governor.  It  is  probable  that  these 
were  the  two  estates  which  were  described  by  Gibson,  who  led  a  party  to  the 
Mire  in  1745.* 

"We  found  two  fine  farms  upon  a  neck  of  land  that  extended  near  seven  miles  in 
length.  The  first  we  came  to  was  a  very  handsome  house,  and  had  two  large  barns,  well 
finished,  that  lay  contiguous  to  it.  Here,  likewise,  were  two  very  large  gardens  ;  as  also 
some  fields  of  corn  of  a  considerable  height,  and  other  good  lands  thereto  belonging,  besides 
plenty  of  beach  wood  and  fresh  water  ....  The  other  house  was  a  fine  stone  edifice, 
consisting  of  six  rooms  on  a  floor,  all  well  finished.  There  was  a  fine  jwall  before  it,  and 
two  fine  barns  contiguous  to  it,  with  fine  gardens  and  other  appurtenances,  besides  several 
fine  fields  of  wheat.  In  one  of  the  barns  there  were  fifteen  loads  of  hay,  and  room 
sufficient  for  three  score  horses  and  other  cattle." 

Living  people  have  seen  the  brick  floors  of  a  large  byre  with  the  bones  of 
many  cattle  on  it  on  the  southern  side  of  the  Mire,  near  Albert  Bridge.  The 
properties  of  M.  de  Catalogne  and  the  Fathers  of  Charity  ran  along  the  Mir6 
River  and  shore  of  the  bay,  into  which  it  empties,  and  Lagrange,  a  sergeant,  and 
Boucher,  the  Engineer,  owned  the  lands  behind  the  Lorambecs,  and  caused  much 
dissatisfaction  to  the  fisherfolk  by  refusing  permission  to  cut  the  wood  necessary 
for  their  flakes.  The  description  of  these  farms  would  indicate  that  this 
outflow  of  enterprise  and  population  would  come  from  a  more  thriving  town 
than  the  official  letters  described.  Scarcity  of  food  is  a  serious  thing,  but 
satisfaction,  with  her  offspring  comfort  and  energy,  treads  close  on  the  heels  of 
supply.  It  was  only  after  St.  Ovide's  time  that  the  accounts  indicate  stagnation 
from  want. 

The  officers  were  approximately  of  the  same  social  grade,  and  that  noble. 
They  were  of  different  origins  :  some,  as  Bourville,  were  Normans  ;  the  Du 

1  This  identification  is  not  certain.  Gibson's  distances  seem  all  inaccurate,  but  Milly  was  the  only  known  proprietor 
likely  to  have  so  important  an  establishment,  unless  St.  Ovide  had  built  after  his  absence,  which  is  not  likely.  The 
direction  by  which  the  scout  marched,  west-north-west,  prevents  these  being  those  of  the  Peres  de  la  Charite  and 
Catalogne.  There  is  some  evidence  that  Du  Vivier  had  in  1745  a  farm  on  the  Miri. 


Chambon  and  Dangeac  families,  as  well  as  St.  Ovide,  were  from  the  south-west 
provinces  of  France  ;  the  Perelles  were  Parisian,  and  the  Canadian  connection 
was  kept  up  by  D'Ailleboust,  after  the  younger  Rouville,  born  in  Isle  Royale, 
had  returned  to  Canada  ;  while  the  families  of  De  Cannes  and  De  la  Tour  were 
Acadian.  Catalogne,  a  Protestant  of  Beam,  who  had  been  admitted  to  the 
Catholic  Church,  had  come  to  Isle  Royale  after  a  distinguished  service  as 
Engineer  in  Canada,  apparently  possessed  of  some  means,  for  he  not  only  bought 
property  in  the  town,  but  an  extensive  tract  of  land  along  the  slopes  of  that  lake 
which  was  then  known  as  the  Barachois  de  Mire  and  is  now  called  by  his  name. 

Among  this  little  group  of  people  marriages  were  frequent.  It  might 
almost  be  said  that  they  were  all  connected.  Villejouin,  for  example,  came  to 
Isle  Royale  in  1714,  dying  there  four  years  later.  After  a  widowhood  of  ten 
years,  his  wife  married  D'Ailleboust,  connected  with  the  Perelles  ;  their  son  married 
a  De  Gannes-Falaise,  whose  mother  was  a  De  la  Valliere  ;  while  another  sister 
married  Couagne,  an  officer.  La  Valliere  intermarried  with  the  Rousseau 
Souvigni,  and  a  daughter  of  the  latter  family  became  the  wife  of  Chassin  de 
Thierry,  the  grandson  of  an  Ecuyer  de  la  Bouche  de  sa  Majeste  (Louis  XIV.). 
The  daughters  of  the  De  la  Tour  family  married,  as  might  be  expected  ;  Jeanne 
was  the  wife  of  Rousseau  Souvigni,  but  the  brother,  judging  from  the  names  of 
his  two  wives,  married  among  the  bourgeois,  and  so  on  through  the  list.  The 
older  Catalogne  came  to  Louisbourg  as  a  married  man,  and  one  of  his  four 
daughters  married  before  she  was  of  age  a  De  Gannes-Falaise.  While  these 
were  socially  correct  marriages,  others  went  outside  of  their  own  class.  The 
young  Baron  de  1'Esperance,  an  officer  of  the  Swiss  companies,  married  a 
Demoiselle  Rodrigue.  Young  Bois  Berthelot  married  a  Des  Goutins.  Two  of 
the  descendants  of  the  Baron  de  la  Poterie  married  Daccarettes  of  the  superior 
bourgeoisie.  A  D'lle  la  Valliere,  apparentl)  after  a  hasty  courtship,  for  the 
vessel  was  not  long  in  port,  married  Fierrot,  a  lieutenant  of  a  ship  of  the  East 
India  Company  which  in  1744  called  at  Louisbourg.  Another  sister,  Barbe, 
married  Delort,  a  merchant  of  the  town,  an  alliance  more  unusual  than  the 
military  men  marrying  the  daughters  of  merchants.  The  Dangeac  family 
apparently  married  into  the  bourgeoisie  in  the  second  generation.  The  first 
to  serve  in  the  colonies  was  the  older  Gabriel,  who  began  his  career  in  1685. 
He  was  transferred  to  Cape  Breton,  where  he  died  in  1737.  His  son  served  in 
Isle  Royale,  became  Governor  of  St.  Pierre,  and  died  in  1782  after  fifty-seven 
years  in  the  King's  service.  He  made  at  Louisbourg  in  1735  a  misalliance 
which  enhanced  the  vigour  of  his  race,  for  there  are  letters  extant  from  his  two 
daughters,  one  aged  ninety-four,  and  another,  Charlotte,  aged  eighty-nine, 
written  in  1830.  As  these  old  ladies,  when  Queen  Victoria  was  in  her  teens, 
could  have  boasted  that  their  grandfather  was  alive  when  Charles  the  Second 


reigned  in  England,  it  illustrates  the  extraordinary  space  of  time  which  can  be 
covered  by  three  generations. 

As  somewhat  unwelcome  members  of  this  community  came,  in  1721-22, 
two  detachments  of  the  Swiss  Regiment  of  Karrer,  raised  by  the  King  to 
supplement  the  naval  troops.  The  officers  and  men  were  Protestants,  but, 
notwithstanding  the  friction  at  first,  they  adjusted  themselves.  Some  of  the 
non-commissioned  officers  married  ;  and  the  elder  De  1'EspeVance,  a  Baron  of 
the  Holy  Roman  Empire  and  son  of  the  Lieut.-Colonel  of  the  regiment  of  the 
Duke  of  Wurtemburg,  was  admitted  to  the  Catholic  Church  and  married 
Margueritte  Dangeac,  a  step  which  he  represents  as  costing  him  his  patrimony. 

Complaints  were  made  that  the  Swiss  troops  held  tenaciously  to  their 
privileges  as  Protestants,  but  the  example  of  De  l'Esp£rance  was  followed  by 
not  an  inconsiderable  number  of  his  men,  mostly  among  those  who  were  married 
and  were  householders.  Other  cases  occur.  A  native  of  "  Hampcher,"  an  English 
Calvinist,  a  Dutch  Lutheran,  and  one  "  Gyleis,"  an  Irish  Anglican,  made  their 
peace  with  the  dominant  Church,  while  here  and  there  occur  entries  in  the 
register  which  indicate  that  the  French  wandered  into  New  England  colonies. 
Couples  remarried  after  living  in  Massachusetts,  children  born  in  New  England 
were  baptized,  all  this  showing  the  benign  influences  of  mutually  profitable  trade, 
and  a  zeal  on  the  part  of  the  Recollets  or  their  parishioners,  which,  like  the 
care  of  the  negro  and  the  unfortunate,  give  'fairer  impressions  of  the  community 
than  we  get  from  some  reports  of  scandalous  conduct. 

The  high-sounding  names  of  these  officers  did  not  imply  any  great 
splendour  in  their  way  of  life.  All  of  these  families,  by  the  census  of  1734, 
except  that  of  the  Dangeacs,  had  two  servants.  In  food  they  had  good 
material  to  work  with.  Fish  and  game  were  abundant.1  Voltaire  somewhere 
draws  a  comparison  between  the  splendid  equipages  of  Lima  and  their  absence 
in  Louisbourg  ;  a  more  significant  indication  of  the  modesty  in  life  in  Isle 
Royale  is  that  although  every  year  one  or  more  men-of-war  visited  it,  remaining 
usually  several  weeks  in  port,  none  of  their  officers  married  into  its  families, 
while  many  daughters  of  planters  in  Martinique  and  St.  Domingo  became  the 
wives  of  naval  men.2 

Costebelle  was  in  financial  difficulties,  but  in  his  time  he  occupied  the  first 
position  in  the  colony.  The  returns  of  his  goods  sold  at  auction  in  1720  for 
the  benefit  of  his  creditors  give  some  details.  The  first  article  offered  was  a 
yellow  satin  dressing-gown  lined  with  blue  taffeta.  It  was  followed  by  a  scarlet 
coat  embroidered  in  gold,  a  suit  of  coffee-coloured  cloth  lined  with  silk  and 

1  The  latter  was  cared  for,  for  twice  at  least  the  shooting  of  partridges  was  prohibited.     Forest  fires,  however,  which 
also  made  fuel  dear,  were  their  greatest  enemy. 

2  Among  them,  two  M'Carthys,  obviously  Irish,  and  presumably  Jacobites,  who  were  in  the  French  Navy,  became 
rich  by  such  alliances. 


embroidered  in  silver,  which,  bringing  ninety  livres,  made  it  less  valuable  than 
another  cloth  suit,  bordered  with  gold,  which  brought  one  hundred  and  seventy 
livres.  Twenty-one  shirts  were  sold  and  nine  cravats.  In  silver  there  were 
apparently  only  ten  table  spoons  and  forks,  and  two  silver  candlesticks,  his 
table  service  being  made  up  by  three  dozen  pewter  plates  and  fourteen  dishes, 
while  there  were  only  eight  table-cloths  and  three  dozen  napkins,  which  would 
indicate  either  a  meagre  supply  for  the  position  he  occupied,  or  that  not  all  of 
his  household  goods  were  then  disposed  of.  The  proceeds  of  this  sale  were 
distinctly  less  than  those  of  a  ship's  captain  who  died  in  port  and  whose 
personal  effects,  in  which  were  twenty-four  gold  buttons,  brought  1600  francs. 

But  there  were  brighter  sides  to  life  in  Louisbourg  than  these  details  of 
circumscribed  conditions  and  narrow  incomes.  It  was  permanent,  for  there 
were  very  few  changes  in  the  garrison  or  civil  officials.  There  were  the 
pleasures  of  the  chase  for  those  who  cared  for  them.1  Gaming  was  common 
and  excessive  in  the  later  years  of  the  town,  and  with  its  prevalence  in  France 
it  probably  at  all  times  passed  away  many  hours  for  society.2  The  town 
appealed  to  a  New  England  chaplain,  who  writes  of  the  fine  walk  along  the 

They  had  public  celebrations  which  kept  them  in  touch  with  events  in 
Europe,  and  made  it  evident  that  Isle  Royale  was  a  part  of  a  great  kingdom. 
A  Te  Deum  was  sung  for  the  restoration  to  health  of  the  King  in  1721,  and 
another  for  the  birth  of  a  Princess  in  1728,  but  the  greatest  entertainment  was 
at  the  time  of  the  rejoicing  for  the  birth  of  the  Dauphin.4  On  the  26th  of  October 
1730,  at  daybreak,  there  was  a  salvo  of  artillery,  another  during  the  Te  Deum  at 
High  Mass,  and  a  third  with  a  discharge  of  musketry  at  nightfall.  Bourville, 
the  acting  Governor,  gave  a  dinner  to  eighty  military  officers,  followed  by  a  ball. 
De  Mezy,  at  his  house,  had  a  dinner  of  twenty-eight  for  the  civil  officers  and 
the  principal  merchants,  and  the  following  days  gave  two  dinners  of  sixteen  for 
the  captains  in  port,  and  of  twenty  to  the  staff,  his  house  being  too  small  to 
entertain,  at  one  time,  all  whom  he  wished.  The  festivities  closed  by  the 
officers  of  the  garrison  giving  a  feast  for  eighty,  followed,  like  that  of  De 
Bourville,  by  a  ball.  No  such  rejoicings  seem  to  have  taken  place  in  Louisbourg 
since  Meschin's  dinner  in  1716,  whereat  the  tally  of  salutes  was  lost  in  the 
mists  of  his  exuberant  hospitality. 

Cape  Breton  has  weather  as  dreary  and  disappointing  as  well  can 
be  conceived.  There  are  weeks  in  autumn  when  a  dull  earth  meets  a  leaden 
sea,  in  winter  when  the  ground  is  white,  the  sea  sombre.  In  spring  the  sea 

1  Le  Normant'i  bag  one  morning  at  Baleinc  was  forty  birds. 

2  Verrier'*  picture  of  the  town  designates  by  the  local  standard  a  rather  imposing  house  on  the  Rue  du  Port  as  "  le 
billard."      We  have  no  indication  as  to  whether  this  was  a  club  or  a  public  place  for  the  game. 

8  William's  Journal.  *  Vol.  n,  f.  21. 


is  white  and  glistering  with  drift  ice,  the  land  dreary  with  dead  vegetation. 
In  early  summer  sea  and  land  are  dank  with  fog,  and  at  any  time  occur  gales 
of  wind  which  are  always  blustering  and  often  destructive.  Although  by 
the  accounting  of  the  meteorologist  the  difficult  or  unpleasant  conditions 
predominate,  the  good  weather  so  far  surpasses  in  degree  the  bad,  that,  the 
latter  past,  it  seems  but  naught.  On  fine  days  the  moorland  is  a  sheet  of 
glowing  russet  and  gold,  the  rocks  are  so  noble  a  background,  for  the  most 
pellucid  of  seas,  the  clouds  which  hang  in  the  overarching  blue  are  so 
monumental  in  shape,  the  line  of  coast  which  dies  down  to  the  eastern  horizon 
is  so  picturesque  in  outline,  that  they,  seen  through  an  air  sparkling,  limpid, 
exhilarating  in  the  highest  degree,  make  of  Louisbourg  a  delight  which  must 
have  appealed  to  its  people  in  the  past,  as  it  does  to  the  visitor  of  to-day. 
Above  all,  when  the  inhabitant  reached  the  turning-point  of  his  promenade  at 
the  ramparts,  he  looked  out  over  an  ocean  which  stretched  unbroken  to  southern 
polar  ice.  That  ocean  was  the  only  highway  of  important  news.  On  it 
mysterious  sails  appeared  in  the  offing  and  pirates  plundered.  Each  ship 
which  worked  in  from  its  horizon  might  bring  tidings  of  adventure  or  of 
consequence  to  the  onlooker  or  the  community.  With  such  a  prospect  life 
.might  be  hopeless  but  it  could  not  be  permanently  dull. 


MAUREPAS  had  contemplated  improving  the  administration  of  Isle  Royale 
before  matters  had  come  to  a  head  with  St.  Ovide.  On  his  dismissal,  the 
Minister  acted  in  the  best  interest  of  the  colony,  for  from  the  applications  for 
the  position  of  Governor  he  selected  Isaac  Forant,1  a  captain  of  the  ship  of  the 
line.  He  offered  the  place  to  him  privately,  so  that  in  the  event  of  his 
declining,  the  choice  of  a  successor  would  not  be  more  difficult.  Forant  did 
not  consider  the  position  worthy  of  his  rank,  as  Isle  Royale  was  only  a 
dependency  of  New  France,  and  the  Governor-Generalships  of  New  France, 
St.  Domingo,  Martinique,  and  Louisiana  were  held  by  naval  officers  of  his  own 
standing.  After  the  intimation  to  him  that  it  was  the  King's  wish  that  he 
should  go,  he  made  no  further  difficulties,  and  set  sail  on  the  Jason  for 
Louisbourg,  where  he  arrived  early  in  September  I739«2 

For  the  first  time  the  colony  was  placed  under  a  new  administration,  for 
on  the  same  ship  was  the  new  Commissaire-Ordonnateur,  belonging  to  a  family 
distinguished  in  the  magistracy,  but  untried  in  colonial  administration.8  He 
had  been  principal  clerk  at  Rochefort,  and  began,  as  the  associate  of  Forant,  a 
colonial  career  which  for  ever  links  his  name,  Fran9ois  Bigot,  with  the  darker 
passages  of  the  latest  years  of  French  rule  in  Canada. 

The  ample  instructions  to  Forant  and  Bigot  indicate  that  the  Minister  was 
familiar  with  the  condition  of  affairs  at  Isle  Royale,  but  do  not  disclose  whether 
the  self-reliance  which  these  officials  displayed  was  the  result  of  instruction  or 
of  personal  qualities.  The  contrast  between  their  administration  and  that  of 
St.  Ovide  shows  clearly  how  far  a  system  may  be  modified  by  the  character  of 
the  men  it  employs.  St.  Ovide  and  both  the  Le  Normants  constantly  quarrelled. 

1  Isaac    Louis   Forant    was  the   son  of  Job  <le   Forant,   Premier    Chef   d'Escadre    des  Armees    Navales.      He    passed 
through  the  ordinary  course  of  naval   instruction  and   promotion,  in   the  course  of  which   he   visited  Louisbourg  and  other 
ports  in  American  waters  beginning  in  1724.      In  this  year  he  made  charts  of  the   Grand    Banks,  A.  N.  Marine,  C7,  108, 
and    B4,    48.     The    Habitant    says    that    the    family    was  of   Danish    origin  and    left    their  country  on  account  of  their 

2  His  commission  was  dated  April  i,  1739. 

*  His  father  was  a  councillor  of  the   Parliament  of  Bordeaux,  akin  to  Puysieulx,  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs,  so  that 
the  son  entered  the  King's  service  in  1723  under  favourable  auspices. 


1739  FORANT  AND  BIGOT  95 

They  lacked  initiative,  and  found,  when  they  did  make  decisions,  that  these  were 
frequently  overruled.  The  merchants,  fishers,  and  officers  of  the  Admiralty 
complained  of  their  acts.  Their  official  reports  to  the  Minister  seem,  at  times, 
to  have  been  intentionally  inaccurate.  The  new  officials  took  up  their  duties  in 
harmony,  with  vigour  and  self-confidence,  and  seem  to  have  had  no  hesitation  in 
laying  before  the  Minister  the  exact  condition  of  affairs  under  their  charge. 

Immediately  after  his  installation  Forant,  calling  together  the  troops  at 
Louisbourg,  which  consisted,  including  the  garrison  of  the  outports  and  Isle 
St.  Jean,  of  eight  companies  of  sixty  men  and  one  hundred  Swiss,  told  them 
that  any  complaints  that  any  of  them  might  make  would  be  carefully  considered 
and  justly  dealt  with.  His  report  on  them  was  far  from  satisfactory. 

"With  the  utmost  sincerity  I  may  say  that  I  have  never  seen  such  bad  troops.  We 
would  not  keep  one  hundred  soldiers,  if  we  discharged  all  those  who  are  below  the 
regulation  height.  But  without  regard  to  stature  and  physique  I  believe  that  it  is  better 
to  discharge  invalids,  who  are  pillars  of  the  hospital  and  occasion  much  expense,  and  are  of 
no  use  whatsoever,  as  well  as  rascals  who  not  only  are  incorrigible,  but  are  even  capable  of 
leading  others  into  vicious  ways.  ...  It  is  better  to  have  fewer  men  than  to  have  them 
of  this  character." l 

He  deals  severely  with  the  conditions  in  which  the  troops  live.  In  the 
stately  barracks  their  quarters  were  wretched.  They  slept  two  in  a  bunk,  and 
Forant  immediately  requested  for  them  a  supply  of  mattresses  and  bedding,  for 
the  hay  on  which  they  slept  was  changed  but  once  a  year,  and,  therefore,  was 
so  infested  with  vermin  that  many  preferred  to  sleep  during  summer  on  the 
ramparts.  Notwithstanding  such  conditions  and  the  relations  of  the  men  with 
their  officers,  so  low  a  standard  had  the  soldiers,  that,  in  response  to  his 
invitation,  no  complaints  were  made. 

He  then  called  together  the  officers  of  the  garrison  in  his  apartment,  and 
laid  before  them  the  complaints  of  their  conduct  which  had  reached  the  Minister. 
These  were,  that  not  all  the  troops  were  carried  on  the  rolls  ;  that  verbal  leave 
of  absence  was  given  to  the  soldiers,  so  that  it  was  said  privates  had  been  twelve 
or  fifteen  years  in  the  colony  and  had  never  mounted  guard  ;  that  new  recruits 
had  to  buy  unnecessary  clothing,  which  the  officers  supplied  from  the  uniforms 
of  the  soldiers  who  had  died  in  the  hospital ;  that  their  canteens  encouraged 
the  soldiers  to  drink  ;  and  that  the  officers  obtained  provisions  in  excessive 
quantities  from  the  King's  store.  The  officers  seemed  much  affected  by  these 
charges,  and  assured  him  that  they  were  not  so  bad  as  they  had  been  represented. 
They  instituted  on  the  spot  certain  reforms,  and  he  closed  the  interview  by 
saying  that  the  best  way  to  discredit  the  bad  impressions  of  the  past  was  to  see 
that  in  the  future  no  grounds  for  complaint  should  occur. 

1  I.R.  vol.  26. 


Forant  on  his  previous  cruises  had  visited  Louisbourg  and  was  familiar 
with  its  requirements.  Knowing  its  dependence  for  defence  on  artillery,  he  had 
provided  in  France  a  wooden  cannon  to  serve  as  a  model.  He  brought  it  with 
him  on  the  Jason,  mounted  it  in  the  barracks,  and  thereafter  gun  drill  took 
place  every  Sunday.  This  he  did  as  preliminary  to  the  establishment  of  an 
artillery  company,  the  necessity  of  which  he  urged  on  the  Minister  as  the  troops 
were  unskilled  in  serving  artillery. 

The  unsettled  state  of  affairs  in  Europe  directed  the  attention  of  Forant 
and  Bigot  to  the  military  condition  of  Louisbourg.  They  wrote  that  in  a  time 
of  peace  it  was  suffering  from  the  scarcity  of  provisions,1  and  in  time  of  war  a 
privateer  or  two  in  the  Gulf  and  the  Strait  of  Canso  could  reduce  them  by 
famine,  unless  there  were  more  ample  stores.  It  was  necessary  to  send  out  more 
guns  with  their  equipment,  and  to  remount  those  already  on  the  ramparts,  as 
their  carriages  had  decayed.  They  pointed  out  that  it  would  be  inadvisable  to 
attempt  the  preservation  of  guns  by  dismounting  them  for  the  winter,  as,  if  they 
were  attacked,  it  would  be  very  early  in  the  year  before  they  could  get  them 
remounted.  Forant  wrote  to  urge  the  Minister  to  begin  the  war  by  attacking 
Acadia.  With  two  frigates,  two  hundred  regular  troops,  two  thousand  muskets 
for  the  Acadians,  whom  the  English  would  probably  disarm,  the  expedition  under 
his  command,  he  would  answer  for  the  result.  Acadia  joined  to  Isle  Royale 
would  make  a  flourishing  colony,2  and  desiring  secrecy  he  wrote  in  his  own  hand 
a  letter,3  displaying  his  eagerness  for  attack  :  "  I  have  the  honour  to  say  only, 
that  in  the  situation  in  which  we  find  ourselves  we  require  fewer  forts  and  less 
outlay  to  attack  than  to  defend  ourselves."  4  The  principle  was  sound  ;  when 
war  came  it  was,  however,  the  enemies  of  Isle  Royale  who  acted  on  it. 

The  garrison  needed  strengthening.  He  pointed  out,  as  St.  Ovide  had 
often  done,  that  it  was  inadequate  to  do  more  than  ordinary  duty,  but  he  could 
get  on  with  the  increase  of  two  or  three  companies  and  the  artillery  company. 
He  begged  the  Minister  not  to  be  deterred  by  the  expense  of  more  barrack 
accommodation,  for  he  could  provide  for  eight  more  companies  by  giving  up  his 
own  house,  and  utilizing  for  himself  that  of  Verrier,  who  was  to  go  to  France 
the  following  year. 

Bigot  was  not  less  active,  on  his  side,  in  carrying  out  the  Minister's 
instructions.  He  introduced  a  system  of  supervision  of  the  King's  stores  which 
was,  in  his  view,  called  for  in  a  country  where  officials  owned  boats,  and  in 
consequence  had  crews  to  feed,  and  were  interested  in  other  commercial  ventures 

1  Vamlrcuil,  who  commanded  the  Ja:on,  had   supplied  several   vessels  with  provisions  which  they  could  not  obtain 
in  the  town. 

2  Nov.  14,  vol.  21,  f.  72.  »  Nov.  16,  f.  86. 

4  "J'ay  1'honneur  dc  vous  dire  seulement  que  dans  la  situation  ou  nous  nous  trouvons  il  nous  faut  moins  de  forte*  (?) 
et  dc  depanccs  pour  ataquer  que  pour  nous  defandrc." 

1739          BIGOT'S  EFFORTS  TO  PROMOTE  TRADE  97 

which  they  had  more  at  heart  than  the  interest  of  the  King.  He  established 
an  office  at  the  warehouse  to  supervise  the  distribution  of  stores,  and  made  an 
attempt  to  introduce  the  contract  system  in  the  purchase  of  supplies.  His  first 
effort,  asking  tenders  for  molasses  for  three  years,  was  unsuccessful,  on  account 
of  the  high  price  asked  by  the  merchants,  who  feared  war.  During  the  course 
of  the  war  with  Spain  the  French  merchants  had  enjoyed  the  benefit  of  Spanish 
markets  for  fish  over  those  of  England,  but  its  ending  would  throw  them  open 
to  competition  with  England.  This  caused  Bigot  to  look  to  the  West  Indies 
for  an  extension  of  the  trade  in  fish,  and  he  suggested  to  the  Minister  the 
imposition  of  a  duty  on  salt  beef  to  promote  in  these  islands  the  consumption  of 
cod,  if  it  would  not  hurt  the  commerce  of  France. 

He  promoted  experiments  for  the  manufacturing  of  fish-glue,  which  seemed 
to  be  successful.  He  was  the  first  persistent  friend  of  the  Cape  Breton  coal 
trade,  which  seems  to  have  languished,  for  he  at  once  sent  a  sample  to  France, 
and,  as  it  again  proved  good,  he  continued  in  later  years  his  attempts  to  develop 
this  important  industry.  He  supported  his  case  by  pointing  out  that  the  coal 
mines  of  Cape  Breton  supplied  New  England,  and  that  their  produce  would  be 
two-thirds  cheaper  in  France  than  the  coal  which  the  King  was  then  buying. 

While  their  letters  of  instructions  had  carefully  defined  their  respective 
duties,  Forant  and  Bigot  seemed  to  have  worked  in  entire  harmony  and  acted 
together  on  matters  which,  strictly,  were  exclusively  entrusted  to  one  or  the  other 
of  them.  Bigot  gave  his  opinion  on  military  matters,  and  we  find  not  only  a 
desire  to  secure  the  best  interests  of  the  traders  of  the  place  on  the  part  of  Bigot, 
but  that  he  associated  Forant  in  his  dealings  with  these  matters.  Le  Normant 
had  left  an  elaborate  memoir  dealing  with  the  fisheries,  which  for  some  years  had 
been  unprofitable.  He  proposed  in  it  various  remedies.  Bigot  and  Forant, 
before  making  any  report  on  the  matter,  called  together  the  principal  traders  of 
the  place,  and  discussed  the  subject  with  them.  They  also  called  a  general 
assembly  of  the  inhabitants  and  arranged  with  them  the  rates  to  be  established 
for  wintering  boats  in  the  little  harbour,  which  had  been  made  in  the  Barachois 
de  Lasson. 

The  business  of  the  colony  went  on  in  a  satisfactory  way.  Twelve  vessels 
had  been  built  in  Isle  Royale  during  the  year,  eight  had  been  bought  from  New 
England,  and  Bigot  urged  on  the  Government  to  give  the  same  shipbuilding 
bounty,  5  1.  a  ton,  as  was  given  in  Quebec.  The  Minister  was  informed  in 
relation  to  foreign  trade  that  only  one  English  vessel  had  come,  which  was  sent 
by  Armstrong,  Governor  of  Nova  Scotia,  with  a  little  flour,  the  proceeds  of 
which  had  been  exchanged  for  French  goods.  Permission  had  been  readily 
granted  for  this  trading,  as  Forant  and  Bigot  were  desirous  of  placating 
Armstrong  on  account  of  the  missionaries  of  Acadia.  The  abundant  crops  of 


98  DEATH  OF  FORANT  1740 

Isle  St.  Jean,  where  there  was  now  a  considerable  Acadian  population,  encouraged 
there  the  further  clearing  of  land. 

They  secured,  by  employing  these  judicious  methods,  a  willing  acceptance 
of  their  proposed  regulations  before  they  were  issued,  and  in  the  only  case  of 
conflict  of  jurisdiction,  Forant  asserted  his  supremacy  over  the  officials  of  the 
Admiralty  so  tactfully  that  there  was  no  friction  about  this  matter,  nor  over  the 
release  by  him  and  Bigot  of  a  vessel  from  the  western  shore  of  Newfoundland, 
which  the  Admiralty  officials  had  condemned  on  technical  grounds. 

There  was  no  disagreement  between  them  when  it  came  to  the  consideration 
of  a  most  important  proposal  made  by  Beauharnois  and  Hocquart  to  establish 
a  warehouse  at  Louisbourg  which,  kept  permanently  supplied,  would  prevent  the 
famines  to  which  the  colony  had  throughout  its  existence  been  exposed.1  They 
said,  with  sound  judgment,  that  if  the  storehouse  were  the  King's  every  one 
would  depend  on  it,  while  if  it  belonged  to  a  company  it  would  ruin  commerce. 

The  following  year,  1 740,  was  opening  with  plans  for  further  development 
when  the  career  of  Forant  was  cut  short,  in  the  inclement  spring  of  Louisbourg, 
by  an  attack  of  pneumonia,  to  which  he  succumbed  on  May  10,  after  an  illness 
of  thirteen  days.  He  was  buried,  at  Bigot's  instance,  and  in  spite  of  the  criticism 
of  some  of  the  military,  in  the  chapel  of  the  citadel,  Bigot  considering  that  his 
position  as  Governor  entitled  him  to  this  unusual  honour.  His  eulogy  of  his 
late  associate  was  handsome.  Forant  knew  character,  he  recalled  to  better 
courses  his  subordinates  who  had  fallen  away,  was  upright,  and  inspired  by  a 
sense  of  justice  which  was  all-important  in  an  establishment  full  of  cabals.  Bigot 
begged  that  a  successor  like  him  should  be  sent  out.  Forant  testified  in  his  will 
to  his  high  opinion  of  Bigot,  for  the  latter  was  made  his  executor  ;  and  in  the 
disposition  of  his  property  showed  his  interest  in  the  colony  where  he  had  ruled 
so  short  a  time  by  bequeathing  a  fund  for  the  education  of  eight  daughters  of 
officers  in  the  Convent  of  the  Sisters  of  the  Congregation.  After  a  short 
interval  this  bequest  was  made  effective. 

x  The  few  months  in  which  they  administered  the  colony  were  too  short  to 
show  many  results,  but  the  harmony  with  which  they  worked,  the  intelligence 
with  which  they  grasped  the  situation,  their  interest  in  trade,  their  conciliatory 
attitude  to  the  people,  make  it  reasonable  to  believe  that  had  Forant  been 
appointed  at  the  time  St.  Ovide  became  Governor,  and  ruled  as  long,  the 
condition  of  Louisbourg  would  have  been  very  different; 

Bourville  again  took  charge.  At  different  intervals  he  had  served  six  years 
in  all  as  acting  Governor.  He  now  unsuccessfully  applied  for  the  position. 
While  he  discharged  its  duties  he  continued  to  make  plans  for  defence,  and 
representations  of  the  needs  of  the  place  in  the  same  strain  as  his  predecessors. 

1    Vol.   21,  p.  23. 


He  arranged  to  put,  in  event  of  attack,  the  fishermen  and  sailors  at  the  outlying 
batteries,  and  reserve  his  troops,  unfamiliar  with  artillery,  for  the  defence  of  the 
walls.  The  successor  to  Forant  chosen  by  Maurepas  was  Du  Quesnel,1  who 
hurriedly  left  France  for  his  new  post,  where  he  arrived  on  November  2,  1740, 
and  at  once  assumed  the  duties  of  the  position. 

When  Du  Quesnel  was  installed  the  defence  of  the  town  at  once  occupied 
his  attention.  He  stumped  forth  to  inspect  the  work,  for  he  was  one-legged, 
a  cannon-ball  having  carried  away  one  leg  and  shattered  the  other  when  he  was 
on  the  Admiral's  ship  in  the  action  off  Malaga  in  1704.  He  found  the  works 
of  the  town  in  good  condition,  agreed  with  the  view  expressed  in  one  of  Forant's 
latest  letters  (February  8),  that  the  royal  battery  was  unsatisfactory  on  account 
of  the  lowness  of  the  embrasures  on  the  landward  side,  important  in  a  place 
where  a  surprise  was  more  to  be  feared  than  a  regular  attack.  He  repeated  the 
complaints  of  St.  Ovide,  Forant,  and  Bourville,  that  the  garrison  was  inadequate.2 
He  asked  for  fifty  more  Swiss,  as  some  of  the  troops  knew  not  their  right  hand 
from  their  left.  Their  supply  of  arms  was  short,  and  Bigot  joined  him  in  asking 
for  fifteen  hundred  more  muskets,  that  the  inhabitants  might  be  armed.3 

Du  Quesnel  and  Bigot  represented  that  the  supply  of  powder  should  be 
kept  up  to  its  present  quantity,  so  that  the  five  tons  they  had  recently  received 
would  be  available  for  privateers  should  war  break  out.  They  asked  for  six 
twelve-pound  guns  of  the  new  model,  which  had  commended  itself  to  Du  Quesnel. 

1  Jean  Baptiste  Louis  Le  Prevost,  Seigneur  du  Quesnel,  de  Changy  Pourteville  et  d'autres  lieux.     I  have  found  little 
about  his  professional  advancement.     He  was  made  captain,  October  1731,  and  had  evidently  been  in  the  West  Indies, 
for  his  wife  was  Mademoiselle  Giraud  de  Poyet,  daughter  of  the  Lieutenant  de  Roi  at  Martinique.     The  Habitant  says, 
"  Poor  man,  we  owe  him  little  j  he  was  whimsical,  changeable,  given  to  drink,  and  when  in  his  cups  knowing  no  restraint 
or  decency.     He  had  affronted  nearly  all  the  officers  of  Louisbourg.  and  destroyed  their  authority  with  the  soldiers.     It 
was  because  his  affairs  were  in  disorder  and  he  was  ruined  that  he  had  been  given  the  government  of  Cape  Breton." 
There  is  no  evidence  in  other  sources  to  confirm  this  view. 

2  An    analysis    of    the    guards    made    in    1741,    after    the   troops    had    been    increased    by   80,  shows    how   they 
were  disposed  : 

Guards  and  Reliefs — 

Citadel,  King's  Bastion  .....  94 

Queen's  Bastion 
Port  Dauphin  Gate 
Maurepas  Gate 
Store-house,  Treasury 
Hospital  Battery 
In  Hospital 
Royal  Battery  . 
Island  Battery  . 
At  Port  Dauphin 
At  Port  Toulouse 




Isle  St.  Jean     ....... 

A  total  of  651,  while  the  whole  force  was  710.     With  the  Island  Battery  ungarrisoned,  it  certainly  left  no  effective 
combatant  force.     Bourville  wrote  in  August  1740  that  556  men  could  not  fill  the  posts  (vol.  23,  p.  71). 
8  They  had  in  store  only  five  hundred  at  this  time. 

ioo  PLANS  OF  DU  QUESNEL  1740 

These  cannon  were  intended  for  the  defence  of  the  town  ;  but  in  addition  they 
asked  for  a  supply  of  guns  and  shot,  for  the  same  purpose  as  the  extra  supply  of 
powder,  the  use  of  privateers.1 

The  condition  of  affairs  continued  so  threatening  that  he  asked  the  officers 
who  had  received  permission  to  go  to  France  (Verrier,  Cailly,  Commander  of 
the  Swiss,  De  Pensens,  and  Sabatier)  to  remain  at  their  posts,  to  which  they  all 
cheerfully  consented.  He  also  took  up  a  scheme  of  attack  after  consultation 
with  Du  Vivier,  Du  Chambon,  the  senior  officer  being  at  Isle  St.  Jean.2  They 
discussed  Forant's  plan  of  attack  on  Annapolis.  They  emphasized  the  necessity 
of  sending  the  two  men-of-war  for  which  he  asked  at  the  same  time  as  the 
Basque  fishermen  who  left  France  in  February.  They  called  the  Minister's 
attention  to  the  fact  that,  as  the  English  would  probably  not  remain  passive, 
and  Louisbourg  would  be  their  objective  if  they  took  the  field,  that  the  defences 
of  that  place  should  not  be  weakened.  Du  Vivier  presented  an  alternative 
scheme  to  that  of  Du  Quesnel.  It  was  to  select  two  hundred  men  of  the 
Louisbourg  troops,  who  were  to  proceed  late  in  the  autumn  to  Acadia,  and  lie 
hidden  in  the  forests  until  snow  made  travelling  possible.  Then,  reinforced  by 
the  Indians  and  Acadians,  the  latter  being  induced  to  join  the  expedition  by  the 
payment  of  lavish  prices  for  their  provisions  and  supplies,  these  forces  should 
rush  the  feeble  defences  of  Annapolis  over  its  snow-filled  ditch,  and  overpower 
its  small  garrison.3  They  would  require  for  the  expedition  two  hundred  troops, 
eight  hundred  muskets,  two  hundred  haversacks,  and  40,000  1.  in  cash.  These, 
if  the  plan  was  approved,  the  Minister  was  asked  to  send. 

While  these  military  matters,  being  of  the  most  vital  concern,  were  en- 
grossing the  attention  of  the  authorities,  the  ordinary  commercial  business  of 
the  colony  was  being  carried  on.  The  energy  of  the  administration  in  the 
colony  seemed  to  have  been  reflected  in  the  bureau  of  the  Minister,  for  the 
reports  from  Isle  Royale  now  received  a  more  careful  examination  than  they  had 
in  the  past.  Bigot's  attention  was  called  to  the  fact  that  although  the  catch  of 
fish  in  1739  was  valued  at  3,061,465  1.,  and  in  1740  at  2,629,980!.,  seventeen 
more  vessels  had  come  from  France  in  the  latter  year.  These  either  had 
returned  not  fully  laden  or  had  bought  English  cod.  Bigot  dealt  with  the 
matter  with  his  accustomed  openness.4  He  admitted  that  smuggling  went  on. 

1  They  asked  ror  6  of  six  pounds  with  900  shot,  24  of  four  pounds  with  4500  shot,  and  copper  ladles  for  hot 
shot  (I.R.  vol.  22,  p.  215).  As  the  letter  of  the  Habitant  is  the  most  generally  known  contemporary  account  of 
these  years  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  in  reference  to  sending  out  privateers,  as  well  as  in  other  matters,  the  actions 
of  the  local  officials,  of  which  the  writer  complained,  were  known  to  and  encouraged  by  the  Minister. 

-  Letter,  December  i,  1740.  3  Five  companies  each  of  31  men. 

4  He  further  points  out  that  the  captain's  personal  ventures  are  not  included  in  returns,  nor  those  of  the  exports  of 
Ingonish,  the  most  important  place  after  Louisbourg.  I  have  found  no  evidence  that  the  practice  was  different  this  year 
than  at  previous  times,  and  hazard  the  surmise  that  it  was  the  ease  with  which  the  excuse  passed  scrutiny  that  opened  to 
him  the  possibilities  of  enriching  himself  by  improper  means. 


The  new  England  vessels  brought  mostly  tar,  pitch,  and  planks,  and  in  return 
bought  rum  and  molasses,  for  which  there  would  be  an  inadequate  outlet  if  it 
were  not  for  this  trade.  He  informed  the  Minister  that  Sieur  Lagarande,  the 
richest  and  most  charitable  merchant  of  Ingonish,  was  concerned  in  this  contra- 
band trade,  but  that  the  principal  place  where  it  took  place  was  at  Petit  de  Grat. 
This  could  easily  have  been  prevented  by  efficiency  on  the  part  of  the  officer  at 
Port  Toulouse,  Du  Bois  Berthelot.  A  boat  to  watch  this  commerce  which  was 
carried  on  with  Canso  should  be  kept,  but  that  unless  manned  and  officered 
from  a  man-of-war,  it  would  be  useless.  Somewhat  later  he  pointed  out  that 
French  and  English  vessels  were  accustomed  to  meet  at  Martengo,1  a  port  to 
the  westward  of  Canso,  where  they  exchanged  cargoes  without  molestation  from 
either  French  or  English  officials.  The  new  vigour  in  the  home  administration, 
or  confidence  in  Bigot's  representations,  is  shown  by  the  removal,  when  these 
reports  were  received,  of  Du  Bois  Berthelot  from  Port  Toulouse,  and  by  the 
authorization  given  to  Bigot  to  arrange  with  D'Aubigny,  captain  of  the  man-of- 
war  on  the  station  in  1741,  for  the  proposed  coast-guard,  for  which  a  barge  of 
thirteen  oars  was  sent  out.  This  searching  statement  of  the  actual  state  of 
affairs,  the  proposal  of  remedies,  and  the  immediate  acceptance  of  the  sugges- 
tions by  Maurepas,  are  without  counterpart  in  the  previous  history  of  Isle 

The  first  dispatch  received  in  July  by  the  Louisbourg  authorities  intimated 
to  them  that  the  political  situation  was  unchanged,  that  only  through  necessity 
would  the  King  be  drawn  into  war,  but  if  France  should  become  involved,  the 
two  men-of-war  which  the  King  proposed  to  send  to  American  waters  would 
be  dispatched  to  Louisbourg  to  protect  the  fisheries,  and  carry  out  plans 
Maurepas  had  previously  sent  them.  He  referred  them  also  to  his  instructions 
to  Forant,  and  with  a  confidence  for  which  his  own  acts  had  given  little  ground, 
expressed  the  view  that  while  the  English  might  make  an  attempt  on  Louis- 
bourg, the  reports  he  had  received  led  him  to  the  opinion  that  it  would  be 
without  success.  Instead  of  establishing  two  more  companies  he  increased  the 
eight  already  at  Louisbourg  by  ten  men  each,  sent  fifty  more  Swiss,  and  enough 
recruits  to  bring  all  the  companies  up  to  their  full  strength  of  seventy  men. 
Fifteen  thousand  pounds  of  powder,  eight  hundred  muskets,  and  some  cannon- 
ball  were  shipped  out  with  them.  Du  Quesnel  accepted  these  supplies,  only  as 
an  instalment  of  what  was  necessary.  They  had,  he  reported,  in  their  armoury, 
not  a  pike,  pistol,  or  sword,  and  needed  mortars  as  much  as  small  arms.  They 
were,  however,  doing  all  they  could.  Satisfactory  progress  was  being  made  on 
the  fortifications.2  They  had  increased  the  number  of  workers  by  bringing  in 

1  I.R.  vol.  23,  p.  17. 
3  The  transfer  of  this  work  from  Ganet  to  Muiron,  the  new  contractor,  was  made  without  loss  of  time. 


the  soldiers  from  the  outports,  while  abolition  of  Monday  as  a  holiday,  and 
their  efforts  to  prevent  the  soldiers  getting  drunk  on  rainy  days,  made  the  work 
more  effective.  The  population  was  divided  into  militia  companies  of  fifty  men 
each,  and  Verrier  projected  a  small  bastion  on  the  landward  side  of  the  Royal 
Battery  1  to  overcome  the  weakness  of  that  fortification.  The  only  disquieting 
reports  received,  except  those  from  headquarters,  were  rumours  which  reached 
them  from  the  West  Indies  of  depredations  on  French  commerce  by  English 
privateers,  and  the  appearance  off"  the  port  of  a  suspicious  vessel.  They  sent 
out  Morpain,  the  port  captain,  in  search  of  her.  He  cruised  along  the  coast 
and  entered  the  smaller  harbours  without  any  result. 

The  Swiss  had  always  given  some  trouble  in  their  dealings  with  the 
Governor,  as  they  were  tenacious  of  the  privileges  granted  to  their  regiment 
the  Karrer,  possibly  because  the  Louisbourg  detachment  included  its  leading 
company,  "  la  compagnie  Colonelle  "  ;  but  this  year  Cailly,  their  captain,  made 
the  most  serious  disturbance  by  refusing,  on  a  question  of  precedence,  to  assemble 
his  men  when  ordered  by  Du  Quesnel.  His  refusal  was  formal  and  in  writing, 
so  that  Cailly  was  dismissed  ;  but  his  wife  having  made  intercession  for  him 
with  Du  Quesnel,  the  latter  brought  his  influence  to  bear  on  the  Minister,  which 
led  to  Cailly's  reinstatement.2 

The  necessity  of  pushing  on  the  works,  and  of  safe-guarding  the  morals, 
not  only  of  the  troops,  but  of  the  people  of  the  town,  led  the  authorities  to 
make,  after  a  long  interval,  efforts  to  limit  the  sale  of  drink.  St.  Ovide  had 
never  found  the  settled  season  which  Costebelle  thought  was  necessary  before 
it  could  be  effectively  dealt  with.  Du  Quesnel  and  the  captains  agreed  that 
the  canteens  which  they  had  kept,  and  were  a  considerable  source  of  profit  to 
the  company  commanders,3  should  be  suppressed.  He  noted  that  Du  Vivier 
had  never  kept  one,  having  taken  the  course  of  giving  his  men  a  little  money 
when  they  wished  to  divert  themselves,  an  indication  of  his  being  well  off";  the 
result  possibly  of  those  commercial  ventures  of  which  the  merchants  of  Louis- 
bourg had  complained.  They  dealt  with  the  public  sale  of  drink  by  regulations 
which  prohibited  traffic  in  it  to  any  who  were  capable  of  earning  a  livelihood  in 
some  productive  employment.  Those  who  engaged  in  it  must  have  a  licence 
and  display  a  sign  ;  they  were  forbidden  to  sell  to  soldiers  on  duty  or  working, 
to  sailors  and  hired  fishermen  who  were  supplied  by  their  masters,  or  to  any  one 
during  the  hours  of  divine  service,  and  after  the  retreat  had  been  beaten  ;  the 
penalty  for  an  infraction  of  any  of  these  rules  being  the  confiscation  of  their 
supply  and  a  fine  of  lool.  Further  efforts  to  improve  the  morals  of  the  place 

1  This  was  not  built.  2  Vol.  23,  60,  72. 

3  Du  Quesnel  says  that  they  must  shut  their  eyes  to  the  profit  which  the  officers  make  from  supplying  their  men, 
as  the  pay  of  a  captain,  1420  1.  it  too  little.  He  also  speaks  well  of  Du  Chambon,  who  succeeded  him,  as  he  never  engaged 
in  trade,  he  was  poor. 


were  made  by  the  Minister  sending  from  the  West  Indies  a  negro  to  apply  the 
rack  to  criminals.1 

The  influence  for  good  exerted  by  Forant  was  losing  its  effect.  Du 
Quesnel  said  that  things  were  slipping  back  into  bad  ways,  that  his  efforts  to 
right  them  had  made  him  unpopular,  but  that  he  carried  with  him  the  best  of 
the  officers  and  citizens.  He  praised  Bigot,  who,  he  added,  had  no  other  object 
than  the  good  of  his  service.  The  Minister  showed  his  confidence  in  them  in 
the  most  satisfactory  way.  Du  Quesnel  received  an  indemnity  of  5000!.  for 
the  expenses  of  his  removal  to  Isle  Royale,  and  Bigot,  making  his  request  with 
a  statement  that  he  had  never  expected  to  ask  for  anything  but  advancement, 
says  he  was  compelled,  by  the  expenses  of  living  at  Louisbourg,  to  solicit  an 
increase  in  his  salary.  The  Minister  sent  to  him  an  additional  1200!.  with 
a  commendation  of  his  zeal.  Somewhere  in  the  man  were  the  potentialities  of 
the  Bigot  of  Quebec.  They  do  not  appear  in  the  frank,  intelligent  letters  of 
one  who  was  a  favourite  with  his  associates,  who  asked  for  a  second  Forant  as 
Governor,  from  whom  a  Minister  demanded  no  more  than  to  continue  as  he  had 
begun,  who  placed  in  him,  as  years  went  on,  increasing  confidence,  and,  un- 
solicited, gave  him  promotion. 

In  1742  Bigot  had  to  deal  with  those  economic  conditions  which  so  often 
had  injured  the  colony.  In  May  they  sent  an  express  to  warn  Maurepas  that 
Louisbourg  was  again  on  the  verge  of  starvation.  They  had  attempted  to 
obtain  flour  at  Canso,  but  without  success,  and  they  were  further  disquieted  by 
the  report  that  the  exportation  of  provisions  from  New  York  and  New  England 
was  forbidden.  Nevertheless,  in  the  emergency,  they  sent  a  vessel  there  with 
some  hopes  of  obtaining  a  cargo  for  it,  as  an  officer 2  of  Canso  was  interested  in 
the  venture. 

Du  Quesnel  and  Bigot  suggested  that  to  avoid  the  recurrence  of  these 
periods  of  scarcity  a  store-house  for  flour  from  New  England  should  be 
established  at  Louisbourg.  This  would  have  given  no  immediate  relief  even  if 
permission  were  given  to  undertake  its  founding.  The  situation  demanded 
prompter  remedies.  In  June  the  soldiers  were  persuaded  to  submit  to  the 
limitation  of  their  bread  to  a  pound  a  day,  which  set  free  about  three  hundred- 
weight of  flour  to  be  distributed  among  the  needy.  The  fishermen  also  cut 
down  their  consumption,  which  helped  matters  ;  but  the  curtailment  of  food  was 
uncomfortable,  and  the  dearth  of  vegetables  produced  ill-health  among  the 

1  Vol.  B,  72,  f.  10. 

2  It  seems  a  fair  surmise  that  this  was  Bradstreet,  then  an  officer  of  this  garrison,  who  was  related  to  several  of  the 
officers  at  Louisbourg.     Bradstreet  says  that  he  was  thoroughly  familiar  with  Nova  Scotia,  so  that  this  connection  would 
have  arisen  probably  through  the  De  la  Tour  family.     He  was  certainly  interested  in  trade,  for  in  1741  he  visited  Louis- 
bourg, carrying  to  Du  Quesnel  the  congratulations  of  Cosby.     He  there  sold  his  schooner,  bought  rum  with  its  proceeds, 
and  laid  out  two  thousand  crowns  in  the  port  (I.R.  vol.  23,  f.  57). 


people.  This  distressing  condition  continued  until  August,  when  some  relief 
was  obtained  by  the  arrival  of  small  vessels  from  New  England  and  Quebec, 
and  in  September  the  arrival  of  the  store-ship  from  France  brought  abundance. 
But  to  fully  justify  Du  Quesnel's  description  of  Isle  Royale  as  an  unhappy 
colony,  as  the  fishing  had  been  a  failure,  the  people  were  too  poor  to  buy  food 
at  the  high  prices  asked.  Bigot,  who  had  previously  seen  the  agricultural  re- 
sources of  the  Mire,  and  regretted  that  so  fair  an  estate  on  its  banks  had  been 
given  to  St.  Ovide,  saw  this  year,  on  a  tour  of  inspection  to  the  northern  parts, 
the  agricultural  lands  along  the  Bras  d'Or  lakes,  which  made  him  certain  that 
the  island  might  become  self-sustaining.  The  Minister  sent  a  prompt  reply 
which  denied  approval  to  the  recommendation  of  a  store-house  for  New  England 
flour,  although  he  had  previously  been  told  that  the  merchants  of  Quebec  did 
not  fear  the  competition  of  New  England.  In  this  he  followed  the  same  policy 
as  the  Navy  Board  of  the  Regency  which  had  disapproved  in  1716  of  Coste- 
belle's  suggestion  of  a  permitted  trade  with  New  England.  Costebelle  had 
accepted  the  decision  without  protest.  Bigot  did  not  hesitate  to  warn  Maurepas 
that,  if  his  views  were  carried  out,  the  colony  would  be  injured.  Crops  in 
Canada  would  in  the  future  fail,  as  they  had  in  two  successive  years.  If  Isle 
Royale  must  depend  on  France  alone,  without  drawing  any  part  of  its  supplies 
from  New  England,  the  cost  of  living  would  be  so  permanently  enhanced  that  it 
would  carry  on  its  business  at  a  great  disadvantage.  He  returned  to  the  matter 
the  following  year,  and  showed  that  flour  from  New  England  delivered  at  Louis- 
bourg  cost  less1  than  French  flour  delivered  at  Rochefort.  In  addition  to  this 
disadvantage,  the  shipment  of  flour  with  which  he  made  comparison  was  so  poor 
in  quality  that  it  could  only  be  used  by  mixing  it  with  that  from  the  British 

Such  periods  of  scarcity  as  this  had  been  passed  through  not  infrequently. 
Nothing,  however,  had  arisen  in  the  past  to  affect  the  fundamental  advantages 
of  Isle  Royale  in  its  great  industry,  but  in  these  years  complaints  of  the 
quality  of  the  fish  it  sent  to  European  markets  were  heard.  As  we  learn 
from  English  sources  -  that  the  curing  of  fish  at  Canso  was  bad,  these 
complaints  of  the  poor  quality  of  French  shipments  give  basis  for  a  confirmation 
of  the  reports  that  the  merchants  of  Louisbourg  bought  Canso  fish,  as  they 
were  cheaper  than  their  own  catch.8  In  the  midst  of  these  discouragements, 
the  promise  of  a  new  trade  gave  encouragement  to  its  people.  It  had  been 
thought  that  Louisbourg  would  prove  an  admirable  port  of  call  for  French 
merchantmen  on  long  voyages.  This  year  the  Eakine  of  Nantes,  from 
Vera  Cruz  to  Cadiz,  called  at  Louisbourg  for  provisions  and  a  convoy  for 
the  remainder  of  her  voyage.  Her  cargo  consisted  of  treasure  and  such 

1    16  or  17  1.,  as  against  17  1.,  18  1.,  18  1.  10  ».  (vol.  25).  2  C.O.  5/5  ;  B.T.N.S.  5.  3  Wecden,  p.  595/6. 


valuable  commodities  as  cochineal  and  indigo.  She  was  followed  by  other 
vessels  of  the  same  kind,  but  this  course  proved  disadvantageous  to  the  port 
and  disastrous  to  most  of  the  vessels.1 

The  possibilities  of  war  seemed  in  Europe  no  nearer,  although,  in  July, 
Du  Quesnel  was  warned  that  they  might  change  at  any  moment.  Du  Vivier's 
plan  had  been  considered,  and  Du  Quesnel  was  told  to  get  all  the  information 
he  could.  In  reply  he  informed  the  Court  that  an  engineer  had  come  to 
fortify  Annapolis  Royal  in  brick,  and  to  erect  fortifications  at  Canso,  which 
should  not  be  permitted.  He  asked  for  orders,  either  to  openly  stop  the 
work,  or  to  stir  up  the  Indians  against  the  English.  A  further  cause  or 
uneasiness  was  the  action  of  an  English  man-of-war  which  had  prevented 
the  French  from  fishing  off  Canso,  but  Du  Quesnel  was  not  in  a  position 
to  act  firmly.  The  Minister  had  not  responded  to  their  demands  for  further 
troops  and  supplies.  He  would  not  consider  their  proposals  for  additions 
to  the  fortifications.  Those  already  projected,  he  wrote,  must  be  completely 
finished  before  any  new  work  should  be  undertaken.  The  King  was  surprised 
that  after  so  many  years  there  was  so  much  work  in  an  incomplete  state. 
Moreover,  the  state  of  the  Royal  treasury  was  such,  that  they  could  not  send 
out  the  supplies  and  munitions  for  which  the  Governor  had  asked.  Du 
Quesnel's  answer  was  reasonable  :  they  would  do  the  best  they  could,  although 
the  supplies  were  essential.  He  accepted  a  suggestion  of  the  Minister  to 
minimize  their  demands  for  artillery,  by  moving  the  guns  from  one  battery 
to  another,  which  they  would  do  if  the  field  carriages  were  sent.  His  view 
was  that  the  outlay  already  made  on  Louisbourg,  as  well  as  its  importance, 
demanded  that  he  should  be  put  in  a  state  to  respond  to  the  confidence 
placed  in  him.2 

With  the  long  break  in  its  activities  caused  by  the  winter  season  it  was 
easy  for  the  hopeful  to  trust  that  when  the  season  reopened  things  would 
be  better,  for  they  had  closed  in  gloom.  The  colony  was  in  the  most 
miserable  condition  it  had  ever  been.  The  purchases  of  supplies  at  exorbitant 
prices  to  avoid  starvation  made  it  impossible  for  the  people  to  carry  out 
the  engagements  into  which  they  had  entered.  Bigot  looked  forward  to  a 
certain  loss  on  the  shipments  of  provisions  which  had  been  sent  out  to  sell 
to  the  people  in  the  two  preceding  years.  The  French  merchants  complained 
to  the  Minister  that  they  could  not  continue  shipments  to  Isle  Royale  unless 
they  were  paid  for  previous  ventures.  Moreover,  they  were  also  deterred 
by  the  fear  of  finding  their  market  forestalled  by  arrivals  from  New  England, 
and  although  official  information  had  been  given  to  all  the  shipping  ports  of 

1  The  treasure  ships  which  called  in    1744  hampered  the  military  operations  and   reduced   the   number    of  men 
in  the  town  by  shipping  many  in  their  crews.     In  1745  the  ships  were  captured.  2  Vol.  24,  Oct.  7,  9,  22,  24. 


France  in  the  previous  autumn  of  the  need  of  supplies  at  Louisbourg,  this 
official  intimation  produced  little  effect.  Bigot  rose  to  the  situation  and  was 
able  to  report  that  he  had  collected  from  the  people  32,000  I.,1  more  than  he 
had  expended  for  supplies,  and  in  the  autumn  the  French  ships  which  had 
come  out  had  sold  their  cargoes  well.2 

The  torpor  of  malnutrition  affected  the  commerce  of  the  country.  The 
people  would  not  take  up  the  manufacture  of  glue,  nor  the  shipment  of  u  nodes 
de  morues,"  for  which  a  market  had  been  found  in  France.  Bigot's  efforts 
to  push  forward  the  coal  trade  had  not  met  with  much  success.  The  coal 
was  too  light  for  the  heavy  forging  on  which  it  had  been  again  tested  at 
Rochefort.  Its  export  was  further  hampered  by  the  prohibition  to  take  it 
on  men-of-war  or  the  store-ships  of  the  navy,  on  account  of  the  danger  of 
spontaneous  combustion,  although  merchant  vessels  made  no  objections  to 
carry  it  to  the  West  Indies.  Above  all,  the  fishery  was  a  failure.  A  fortuitous 
circumstance  relieved  the  military  aspect  of  the  food  supply.  Alarmed  by 
the  appearance  of  caterpillars  in  Canada,  its  authorities  wrote  in  July  1743 
to  those  of  Isle  Royale  that  they  must  obtain  for  them  from  New  England 
at  least  4000  barrels  of  flour.  They  acted  promptly,  for  Hocquart  said  that 
on  them  depended  the  salvation  of  Canada.  Du  Vivier  was  sent  to  Canso 
with  a  credit  of  80,000 1.  to  buy  this  supply.  He  had  completed  the  purchase 
before  a  second  letter  came  from  Quebec  informing  them  that  the  pest  had 
disappeared  and  the  harvest  promised  well,  so  there  was  no  longer  a  necessity 
for  the  supply.  Sixteen  or  seventeen  hundred  barrels  were  delivered  that 
autumn,  and  more  would  have  been  sent  had  the  authorities  of  Boston  and 
New  York  not  been  advised  by  the  English  court  to  be  on  their  guard. 
They  had  in  consequence  prohibited  further  shipments  to  Louisbourg.  The 
anonymous  Canso  agent  of  the  French  was  at  Louisbourg  when  this  news 
was  received.  He  said  the  authorities  would  not  have  interfered  with  further 
shipments  had  he  been  on  the  spot,  as  he  would  have  cleared  the  vessels  for 
Placentia,  and  further  promised,  should  it  be  at  all  possible,  to  continue 
shipments  the  following  year  even  if  war  broke  out  ;  an  incidental  verification 
of  the  view  that  commerce  was  a  more  dominant  factor  in  the  eighteenth 
century  than  national  animosity.  Bigot  proposed,  and  the  Minister  consented, 
to  use  this  extra  supply  as  a  reserve  which  would  give  rations  for  the  troops 
until  October  1745.  There  were  other  foreshadowings  of  the  strained  relations 
with  England  than  the  forbidding  of  exportation  to  Louisbourg.  The  English 
man-of-war  at  Canso  captured  a  vessel  of  Du  Chambon  on  her  voyage  from 

1   On  previous  occasions  of  the  same  kind  his  predecessors  had  never  succeeded  in  making  more  than  trifling  collections. 
-  The  returns  of  commerce  do  not  indicate  as  serious  a  falling-off  in  vessels  as  might  be  expected  from  the  phrasing 
of  these  letters. 


Isle  St.  Jean  to  Louisbourg,  and  Du  Vivier  returned  to  Canso,  this  time  in 
his  military  capacity,  and  made  such  representations  that  the  vessel  was  released. 
The  slackness  with  which  the  colonial  affairs  of  England  and  France  were 
administered,  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  Cosby  and  Du  Vivier  had  copies  of  the 
Treaty  of  Utrecht  which  differed  in  the  points  of  the  compass  determining 
the  fishing  boundaries,  as  had  the  documents  to  which  Smart  and  St.  Ovide 
referred  in  1718.  In  a  score  or  more  of  years  this  needless  cause  of  mis- 
understanding had  not  been  cleared  up. 

The  year  was  unsatisfactory  in  a  military  way.  Men  were  scarce  in  France  ; 
the  King's  treasury  was  low  and  this  affected  the  strengthening  of  Louisbourg, 
but  the  Minister  promised  to  do  the  best  he  could  the  next  year,  when  they 
might  expect  enough  cannon  for  one  flank  of  each  battery.  Signals  were 
arranged  for  the  men-of-war,  which  were  to  be  dispatched  as  soon  as  the 
rupture  took  place.  The  companies  were  full,  so  only  thirty  recruits  were 
sent  out,  which  left  unanswered  Du  Quesnel's  insistent  demand  for  reinforcement. 
Their  efforts  to  push  on  the  work  had  produced  results,  the  walls  were 
complete,  the  parapet  and  one  gate  on  the  quay  were  finished,  as  well  as  the 
supplementary  batteries  at  the  Prince's  Bastion  and  the  Batterie  de  la  Grave. 
He  pointed  out  again  that  the  work  at  the  Dauphin  Gate  was  necessary  as 
well  as  the  razing  of  Cap  Noir,  which  commanded  all  the  southern  fortifications. 
This,  Du  Quesnel  said,  had  never  been  proposed  by  the  engineers,  as  the 
recommendation  of  this  course  would  have  exposed  their  mistake  in  not  in- 
cluding this  eminence  within  the  walls  of  the  town. 

As  in  all  emergencies,  the  ordinary  business  of  life  went  on  much  in  its 
accustomed  way,  funds  were  allotted,  ecclesiastical  and  civil  matters  dealt  with, 
promotions  were  made,  gratuities  distributed.  Six  young  ladies  were  enjoying 
the  advantages  of  Forant's  bequest ;  and  two  chats-ceruiers  were  sent  from 
Louisbourg  for  the  King's  menagerie,  to  succeed  in  La  Muette  the  one  whose 
fondness  for  music  had  been  the  delight  of  the  Royal  children.1 

The  condition  of  Louisbourg  was  in  the  highest  degree  unsatisfactory. 
It  was  the  key  to  Canada,  it  gave  a  base  for  fishery,  but  it  was  inadequately 
supplied  with  provisions  and  munitions  of  war  ;  its  garrison  was  not  only 
inadequate,  but  of  poor  quality  ;  its  artillery  required  an  increase  of  seventy- 
seven  guns  to  make  all  its  fortifications  effective.  For  ten  years  the  plan  of 
attack,  if  an  attack  was  to  be  made,  had  been  laid  by  its  Governors  before  the 
Minister,  and  these  documents  had  not  all  been  pigeon-holed.  They  were 
known  to  Maurepas  himself,  and  there  exists  a  memorandum  which  is  marked 
"presented  to  the  King"  (porte  au  roi),  dated  June  20,  1743,  which  gives 
a  resumd  of  the  history  of  Louisbourg.2  This  places  the  responsibility  of  its 

1  De  Goncourt,  Portraits  intimes,  p.  8.  2  I.R.  vol.  26,  p.  219. 


condition  on  Louis  XV.  himself.  So  much  of  evil  in  his  career  has  been 
attributed  to  the  malign  influence  of  Madame  de  Pompadour,  that  it  may  be 
noted  that  at  this  time  when,  more  than  in  later  years,  he  neglected  his  colony, 
she  was  Madame  d'Etioles,  and  had  never  seen  His  Most  Christian  Majesty, 
except  in  the  hunting  field. 


THE  declaration  of  war  with  England  was  made  on  March  18,  1744,  and 
expedited  to  Louisbourg  by  a  merchant  vessel  of  St.  Malo,  which  arrived  on 
May  3.  It  was  accompanied  and  followed  by  letter  after  letter  to  encourage 
privateering.  Blank  commissions  were  sent  out  to  Du  Quesnel,  as  Maurepas 
was  alive  to  the  advantage  of  being  first  in  the  predatory  field.  His  encourage- 
ment, however,  stopped  short  of  making  a  gift  of  the  powder  and  shot  which 
was  sent  out  for  the  use  of  these  vessels,  for  he  sent  instructions  that  they 
must  pay  for  these  supplies.  A  prompt  shipment  of  food  was  promised,  and 
permission  was  given  to  Bigot  to  send  to  New  England  for  an  additional 
supply.  Orders  were  given  for  the  two  men-of-war  to  go  to  Louisbourg,  and 
referring  to  the  fortification  of  Canso,  Maurepas  said  that  the  best  way  of 
settling  the  question  was  by  the  capture  of  that  outpost  of  the  English.  The 
King,  he  added,  wished  that  Du  Quesnel  should  use  the  Indians  to  continually 
harry  the  English  in  all  their  settlements.  These  instructions,  involving 
carrying  the  war  into  the  colonies,  and,  if  they  were  to  be  successful,  demanding 
vigorous  execution,  found  Louisbourg  ill-prepared  to  do  its  part. 

On  May  9  there  was  food  in  Louisbourg  for  no  longer  than  three  weeks 
or  a  month,  although  the  people  were  living  largely  on  shellfish.1  This 
condition,  unusual  in  the  spring,  had  arisen  through  the  Basque  fishermen  not 
coming  out.  The  authorities  foresaw  that  if  help  did  not  speedily  come  they 
would  have  to  send  the  inhabitants  back  to  France,  unless  they  should  migrate 
in  a  body  to  some  foreign  country.  The  fisher  folk  of  Baleine  and  the 
Lorambecs,  under  the  pressure  of  famine  and  the  fear  of  war,  had  come  in,  and 
were  plotting  with  those  at  Louisbourg  to  force  the  government  to  supply  them 
from  the  military  stores.  Du  Quesnel  took  steps  to  prevent  an  uprising,  and 
lessened  its  possibility  by  giving  some  provisions  to  prevent  the  people  dying 
of  hunger.  Some  vessels  arrived,  and  reduced  the  distress,  although  again 
in  September  it  was  only  the  receipt  of  the  stores  from  Quebec  which  prevented 
their  abandoning  the  colony,  and  even  then  Du  Chambon  wrote  that  "  to-day 

1  Du  Quesnel  to  Maurepas,  vol.  26. 


it  was  more  than  ever  to  be  feared  that  this  accident  would  arrive."  They 
were  in  no  condition,  said  Du  Quesnel  in  his  letter  of  May  I  ,*  to  undertake  an 
enterprise  against  Acadia.  He  was  anxious  to  send  out  privateers,  but  he 
had  only  Morpain,  who  was  already  at  sea,  and  Doloboratz,  then  engaged  in 
the  expedition  to  Canso,  and  therefore  applied  to  the  Governor-General  of 
Canada  for  men.  It  seemed  superfluous  to  say  that  as  they  had  no  pistols  or 
cutlasses  the  men  of  Louisbourg  were  loath  to  go  unarmed  on  such  expeditions. 
He  again  pointed  out  to  the  Minister  that  their  request  for  troops,  artillery, 
arms,  and  provisions  had  not  been  granted,  and  the  condition  of  the  place,  no 
less  for  defence  than  offence,  was  pitiable.  Their  difficulties  were  material.  It 
required  no  more  than  the  receipt  of  some  further  provisions  and  munitions 
of  war  to  cause  the  Governor  and  officers  to  undertake  the  aggressive  operations 
suggested  to  them  by  the  Minister. 

Canso  was  the  first  object  of  attack  ;  its  condition  was  to  the  last  degree 
indefensible.  Its  garrison  consisted  of  about  one  hundred  and  twenty  men, 
commanded  by  Captain  Patrick  Heron  of  Phillips'  regiment.  In  the  harbour 
was  a  sloop  of  war  of  unspecified  strength,  in  command  of  which  was  Lieutenant 
George  Ryall,2  detached  by  Captain  Young  of  the  Kinsale  for  the  protection  of 
the  fisheries  and  the  prevention  of  trade  with  Isle  Royale.  Its  defences  were  a 
blockhouse  built  of  timber  by  the  contributions  of  the  fishermen  and  inhabitants, 
in  so  poor  a  condition  that  to  its  repair,  and  that  of  the  huts  in  which  the 
soldiers  lived,  their  officers  had  frequently  contributed  from  their  private 
purses.8  The  military  authorities  of  England  were  as  slow  as  those  of  France. 
It  was  not  until  July  19,  I744,4  that  the  Master  of  the  Ordnance  was  directed 
to  order  that  the  Fort  of  Annapolis  be  put  into  a  good  posture  of  defence 
without  loss  of  time,  and  that  a  fort  of  sod-work  be  erected  at  Canso  with 
the  assistance  of  some  of  H.M.  ships  of  war,  and  that  General  Phillips'  regiment 
be  forthwith  augmented  to  the  highest  establishment. 

On  the  23rd  of  October  1744,  a  warrant  was  passed  to  add  10  sergeants, 
10  corporals,  10  drummers,  and  392  privates  to  Lieut.-General  Richard  Phillips' 
regiment  serving  in  Nova  Scotia  and  Newfoundland  ;  establishment  to  take  place 
from  25th  August  1744. 

Statement  annexed  of  the  cost  of  maintenance  of  "  A  Regiment  of  Foot 


commanded  by  Lieut. -Genl.  Phillips."  5 

1  To  Vaudreuil.  Du  {^uesnel's  spirit  is  shown  in  a  k-ttcr  to  Maurepas  :  "trois  points  de  mon  discour  Monseigneur 
troupes  vivres  et  munitions  de  guerre  avec  quoy  vous  devez  cstre  persuade  que  cette  Place  ne  craindra  rien  et  que  je  la 
deffenderay  au  dcla  dc  ce  qu'on  pcut  espirer  "  (May  n,  vol.  26,  pp.  55-56). 

'2  Captain's  letters. 

3  Such   was   its  condition    as  reported    by  Mascarene,  Governor  of  Nova    Scotia,  and   confirmed    by   the   letters  of 
Captain  Young  of  H.M.S.  kimale. 

4  B.T.  Jls.  vol.  52,  p.  137. 

8  Consisting  of  companies  of  70  private  men  in  each. 

1744  THE  CAPTURE  OF  CANSO  in 

Field  and  Staff  Officers       .         ...  .  .  •  £*     7    10  per  day,  i.e. 

Colonel,  izs.  zd.  in  lieu  of  servants         .  .  .  .  o   14     o" 

Lt.-Col.         .         .         .         .         .         .  .  .  .  070 

Major,  55.;  Chaplain,  6s.  8d.  ;  Adjnt.,  45.  .  .  .  o   15      8  -£2     7   10 

Quarter-Master,  45.  8d.  in  lieu  of  servant  .  .  .  048 

Surgeon,  45.;  Mate,  zs.  6d.             .          .  .  .  .  066 

One  Company,  £3:18:6  per  day,  including — 

Captain,  8s.  zd.  in  lieu  of  servants  .          .          .          .£0100 

Lieut.,  45.  8d.  „  „ 048 

Ensign,  33.  8d.  „  „  .          .         .          .          038 

3  Sergeants  at  o     i     6  each' 

3  Corporals  at  .          .          .          .          .         .          .          o      i      o 

z  Drummers  at  .          .          .          .          .          .          .          o      i      o     „     -£3    1 8  6 

10  Privates  at        ........          o     o 

Other  expenses     ........04 

Eight  other  Companies  do.     .          .          .          .          .          .3180 

One  Company  of  Grenadiers. 

Pay  and  numbers  the  same  as  last,  except  they  had  two  Lieuts.  and  no  Ensign. 
Expense  P.  diem  .          .          .         £3      19     6 

Total  for  Regiment 1    .          .          .         £41    13    10 

For  the  first  time,  in  May  of  this  year,  the  officers  of  Louisbourg  set  out  on 
a  warlike  expedition.2  The  command  was  given  to  Du  Vivier,  one  of  the  sons 
of  the  first  officer  who  died  in  Louisbourg,  where  he  and  his  brother  were 
brought  up  by  their  mother  in  a  modest  house  on  the  Place  du  Port  with 
dependencies  extending  to  the  Rue  Royale.  In  the  peace  of  that  place  he  had 
spent  his  entire  life.  The  force  was  made  up  of  22  officers,  80  French  and  37 
Swiss  soldiers,  and  218  sailors,  mostly  the  crew  assembled  for  manning  the  man- 
of-war  Caribou,  built  at  Quebec.  They  embarked  on  the  schooner  Succes, 
Doloboratz'  privateer,  a  vessel  of  Du  Chambon,  and  fourteen  fishing  boats. 
They  met  no  resistance  when  they  appeared  before  Canso.3  On  May  24  a 
capitulation  was  signed  by  which  the  garrison  and  inhabitants  surrendered. 
They  were  to  remain  prisoners  of  war  for  a  year,  their  property  was  to  be  spared 
and  carried  to  Louisbourg  on  the  schooner  of  Bradstreet,  and  Du  Vivier  under- 
took to  use  his  best  efforts  to  have  the  ladies  and  children  senf  at  once  to  Boston 
or  Annapolis.  The  same  terms  were  given  to  the  crew  of  the  guard  sloop. 
News  of  this  exploit  was  sent  to  Boston.  Shirley  asked  to  have  Heron  sent  back, 
but  the  latter  would  not  abandon  his  troops.  Du  Quesnel  returned  all  those 

1  In  all  815  men,  officers  included  (War  Office,  24/232). 

2  Boularderie  says  that,  as  none  of  the  officers  had  any  experience  in  war,  he  was  asked  by  Du  Quesnel  to  go  on  the 
expedition  (Derniers  Jours,  p.  1 88). 

3  A.  M.  St.  M.  vol.  50.     The  Habitant,  never  trustworthy,  says  Du  Vivier  had  600  soldiers  and  sailors.     The  total 
force  was  351. 


captured  at  Canso,  on  condition  that  they  would  not  bear  arms  against  France  for 
a  year  from  September  I,  the  time  of  their  release,  and  forwarded  to  Shirley  an 
agreement  duly  signed.  Shirley  at  once  repudiated  this  action,  on  the  ground  that 
Heron  and  his  men  acted  under  duress  ;  but  Heron  and  the  other  officers  intimated 
that  they  felt  themselves  bound  by  the  agreement  into  which  they  had  entered,  and 
when  there  was  need  of  their  services  the  next  year  it  apparently  required  official 
action  to  free  their  consciences.1  The  vital  part  of  the  transaction  was  the  cost 
of  maintaining  these  troops,  which  Shirley  did  not  care  to  assume,  and  of  which, 
in  the  conditions  of  Louisbourg,  Du  ^)uesnel  was  anxious  to  be  rid.  Shirley  did 
not  accept  the  views  of  Du  Quesnel,  but  their  correspondence  was  courteous,  and 
was  accompanied  by  an  exchange  of  presents.  Du  Quesnel  sent  with  one  of  his 
letters  a  barrel  of  white  wine.  Shirley's  reply  was  supplemented  by  a  cask  of 
English  beer  and  three  turkeys.  The  Governor  of  Massachusetts,  notwithstand- 
ing these  marks  of  good  feeling,  was  firm  in  maintaining  the  position  he  took  in 
regard  to  the  prisoners.  He  also  refused  Du  Quesnel's  proposition  that  in  any 
warlike  operations  the  fisheries  of  both  nations  should,  as  in  the  beginning  of 
the  century,  be  neutral  and  undisturbed,  his  ground  for  this  being  that  the 
French  had  been  the  aggressors.2 

It  was  not  expected  that  Canso  would  make  any  resistance,  but  the  con- 
ditions at  Annapolis  were  not  favourable  to  a  brilliant  defence.  Its  fort  was 
built  of  earth  of  a  sandy  nature,  "  apt  to  tumble  down  in  heavy  rains  or  in  thaws 
after  frosty  weather."  It  had  been  repaired  from  time  to  time  with  timber,  and 
there  was  then  assembled  on  the  ground  material  for  its  permanent  reconstruction. 
It  was,  however,  laid  out  on  such  a  scale  that  it  would  require  five  hundred 
men  to  defend  it,  and  the  garrison  consisted  of  five  companies,  each,  at  its  full 
complement,  of  thirty-one  men.  The  conditions  of  defence  were  therefore  not 
different,  except  to  the  disadvantage  of  the  English,  from  those  of  Louisbourg. 
Its  small  garrison,  commanded  by  Mascarene,  was,  for  example,  so  ill-supplied 
with  arms  that  there  were  not  enough  muskets  to  arm  the  reinforcements  it 
received.  Its  troops  were  so  ill-clothed  that  they  were  permitted  to  wear  a 
blanket  when  on  sentinel  duty,  and  the  provision  of  six  or  seven  "  watch  coats  " 
made  of  duffle,  worn  in  turn,  added  much  to  the  comfort  of  the  garrison  during 
the  next  winter.  Its  people  had  been  thrown  into  a  panic  on  May  18  by  the 
report  that  Morpain,  port  captain  of  Louisbourg — so  renowned  a  privateer  in 
the  wars  of  thirty  odd  years  before,  that  his  name  still  struck  terror  into  an 
English  population — was  to  appear  before  the  place  at  the  head  of  a  band  of  five 
hundred  French  and  Indians.  The  inhabitants  of  the  lower  town,  among 
whom  were  the  families  of  several  officers  and  soldiers,  began  to  remove  their 

1   An  order  in  Council  was  passed,  iith  of  April  1745,  directing  both  officers  and  men  to   disregard  the  capitulation 
forced  on  them  by  Du  Qucsnel  (B.T.  Jls.  vol.  53).  2  C.O.  5/909. 


goods  into  the  fort.  The  report  proved  unfounded,  but  the  arrival  of  the 
Massachusetts  galley  shortly  after,  bringing  news  of  the  declaration  of  war, 
gave  an  opportunity  for  some  of  the  officers  to  send  their  families  to  New 
England.  These  were  followed .  by  as  many  as  two  other  vessels  could  carry, 
but  even  after  they  had  left,  seventy  women  and  children  were  quartered  within 
the  fort.  Bastide,  the  engineer,  had  come  on  the  Massachusetts  galley,  and 
under  his  direction  temporary  repairs  were  made  to  the  fortifications,  which  work 
was  carried  on  by  the  aid  of  the  French  inhabitants,  until  a  band  of  Indians,  on 
July  i,  caused  the  withdrawal  of  the  French.  Mascarene  had  only  a  hundred 
men  in  the  garrison  fit  for  duty.  The  workmen  from  "  Old  and  New  England  " 
on  the  whole  behaved  well,  but  the  grumbling  of  some  of  the  New  England 
men,  who  took  the  ground  that  they  had  come  to  work,  not  to  fight,  "  Caus'd  a 
backwardness  and  dispiritedness  amongst  their  fellows."  The  loss  was  small  in 
the  first  attack  by  the  Indians,  who  reached  the  foot  of  the  glacis,  but  were 
dislodged  by  the  cannon  of  the  fort,  which  kept  them  from  doing  further  harm 
than  marauding,  until  the  arrival  of  the  first  reinforcement  of  seventy  men  from 
Massachusetts  caused  them  to  retire.  This  reinforcement  was  followed  by  a 
second  detachment  of  forty.  Both  of  them,  however,  were  'sent  without  arms, 
and  the  supply  on  hand  was  not  enough  to  furnish  them  with  efficient  weapons. 
The  capture  of  Canso  being  effected,  the  next  point  of  French  attack  was 
naturally  Annapolis.  Du  Vivier  set  forth  early  in  August.1  He  had  with  him 
thirty  soldiers  and  various  munitions  of  war  on  the  schooner  Sucds  and  another 
vessel.  At  Isle  St.  Jean  he  took  on  twenty  more  soldiers.  His  first  duty  was  to 
quiet  the  Indians  at  Bale  Verte,  who  were  pillaging  the  Acadian  inhabitants.  His 
instructions  from  Du  Quesnel  for  his  later  operations,  were  to  confine  the 
troops  of  England  within  Annapolis  Royal,  so  that  the  assistance  the  French 
expected  to  receive  from  the  Acadians  should  appear  to  the  English  as  forced 
from  them,  and,  still  further  to  protect  and  encourage  the  inhabitants,  to  pay 
those  who  gave  them  any  assistance.  The  hope  of  any  Acadians  joining  Du 
Vivier  was  meagre,  for  only  two  hundred  and  fifty  muskets  were  sent  to  arm 
them.  Du  Vivier  was  to  approach  Annapolis  Royal,  and  if  he  found  it  possible 
to  make  a  sudden  attack,  "  A  faire  quelque  coup  sur  Eux,"  he  should  do  so, 
taking  care,  nevertheless,  not  to  compromise  the  troops  or  the  inhabitants  of  the 
country.  If  his  report  was  favourable,  and  no  contrary  orders  were  received  from 
France,  Du  Quesnel  promised  to  send  him  some  vessels  to  attempt  the  taking  of 
the  fort.  If  it  could  not  be  done  without  endangering  themselves  too  much,  and 
with  a  moral  certainty  of  success,  he  was  to  withdraw,  leaving  one  or  two  officers 
with  the  soldiers,  and  a  hundred  picked  Indians,  so  as  to  prevent  the  English 

1  His  expenses  at  Mines  began  on  the  zgth,  which  may  be  taken  as  the  date  of  his  arrival  in  the  settlements  of 
Nova  Scotia. 



disquieting  the  Acadians.  He  was  to  retire  by  September  15,  unless  he  had 
then  received  word  from  Du  Quesnel  ;  and  he  was  again  cautioned  to  display 
the  utmost  prudence,  to  expose  no  one  needlessly,  and  to  protect  the  Acadians 
as  far  as  possible.  These  instructions,  which,  it  will  be  seen,  were  in  effect 
simply  to  confine  the  English  within  the  fort,  that  the  Acadians  might  be 
unmolested,  to  make  a  reconnaissance  and  to  report,  were  not  such  as  to  lead  to 
a  dashing  or  determined  attack. 

Du  Vivier  arrived  before  the  fort  with  colours  flying,  and  then  retired  to 
his  encampment  about  a  mile  distant.  His  Indians  made  disquieting  attacks, 
night  after  night,  on  the  little  garrison,  the  commander  of  which  had  no  intention 
of  troubling  the  Acadians,  who  were  left  to  gather  in  their  harvests,  which 
Du  Quesnel  feared  they  would  not  be  permitted  to  do.  Du  Vivier  sent  word 
to  Du  Quesnel  that  the  attack  should  be  made,  and  was  informed  in  reply  that 
the  Ardent  and  Caribou,  two  ships  of  force,  would  be  dispatched  to  his  aid. 
Du  Vivier  thus  completely  carried  out  his  orders.  He  prepared  scaling-ladders 
and  combustible  materials  in  preparation  for  the  event,  and  on  his  own  initiative 
entered  into  negotiations  with  Mascarene.1  He  sent  his  brother,  who  was 
serving  with  him,  on  September  14,  to  Mascarene  with  a  letter  saying  that  he 
expected  reinforcements  by  sea,  and  proposed  that  Annapolis  should  surrender, 
offering  very  favourable  terms,  which  were  not  to  be  effective  until  his  good 
faith  had  been  proved  by  the  arrival  of  the  French  ships.  He  thus  evidently 
expected  no  more  resistance  than  he  had  found  at  Canso.  His  views  were  so 
far  justified  that  when  Mascarene  consulted  his  officers  he  found  that  the 
majority  of  them  were  in  favour  of  accepting  the  French  proposal.2  Mascarene, 
feeling  that  his  hand  was  being  forced,  made  the  heads  of  the  various  departments 
sign  a  statement  of  the  condition  of  the  works  and  of  the  garrison,  and  then 
permitted,  through  chosen  officers,  various  negotiations  to  go  on,  and  consented 
(purely  as  a  preliminary)  to  an  acceptance  by  these  officers  of  Du  Vivier's  terms  ; 
but  although  "  desired  and  pretty  much  press'd  "  to  sign  himself,  he  absolutely 
refused.  The  truce,  which  had  been  arranged  for  carrying  on  these  negotiations, 
was  then  broken  off.  Mascarene  found  that  the  men  of  the  garrison,  whom 
their  officers  had  represented  as  dispirited,  were  really  uneasy  over  these 
negotiations  with  the  enemy,  and,  to  cut  them  short,  had  threatened  to  seize 
their  officers  "for  parleying  too  long  with  the  enemy."  He  "immediately 
sent  the  Fort  Major  to  acquaint  them  with  what  was  past,  and  that,  all  parley 
being  broken  off,  hostilities  were  going  to  begin  again,  to  which  they  expressed 
their  assent  by  three  cheerful  Huzzas  to  my  great  satisfaction."  Fifty  more 
men  of  Gorham's  Rangers  arrived  from  Boston,  and  Mascarene  threatened  to 

1   Mascarene  to  Shirley,  Dec.  i~44,  N.S.  Archives,  vol.  i,  p.  140. 
2  "  All  the  officers,  except  three  or  four,  very  ready  to  accept  the  proposal." 

1744  HIS  WITHDRAWAL  115 

visit  Du  Vivier  at  his  camp.  Before  he  did  so,  word  was  brought  to  him  that 
the  French  had  gone.  His  first  idea  was  that  it  was  a  feint,  but  he  found  to 
his  astonishment  that  they  had  left  the  country,  which,  not  unnaturally,  he 
attributed  to  their  fear  of  his  making  an  attack.  Thereafter  the  British 
were  only  disquieted  by  the  Indians,  who  were  dispersed  by  the  rangers  of 
Massachusetts,  incited  thereto  by  scalp  bounties  which  Shirley  went  beyond  his 
powers  as  Governor  of  Massachusetts  in  guaranteeing  them.1 

Du  Vivier  had  withdrawn,  not  fearing  conflict,  but  on  account  of  orders 
he  had  received  from  Louisbourg.  Capt.  De  Gannes,  who  felt  that  he  had 
claims  to  lead  the  expedition  superior  to  those  of  Du  Vivier,  had  been  appointed 
to  take  charge  of  the  detachment  which  was  to  winter  in  Acadia.  He  set  out, 
after  making  some  difficulties,  and,  as  his  conduct  shows,  with  no  intention  to 
allow  any  credit  to  Du  Vivier,  but  with  the  purpose  of  asserting  to  the  utmost 
limit  his  authority  over  him.  He  insisted  on  an  immediate  withdrawal,  would 
not  wait  to  destroy  the  storming  materials  which  Du  Vivier  had  prepared,  nor 
to  hear  Mass,  although  the  time  of  their  leaving  was  a  Sunday  morning. 

Both  expeditions  returned  to  Louisbourg,  where  De  Gannes  found  himself 
"  sent  to  Coventry"  by  his  brother  officers  and  the  people  of  the  town.  He 
demanded  a  meeting  with  the  officers  in  the  presence  of  the  Governor.  De 
Cannes'  excuse  at  this  assembly  was  that  he  had  no  orders  to  carry  on  the  siege  ; 
that  he  had  retired  from  Port  Royale  because  they  had  no  provisions,  and  from 
Mines  because  the  inhabitants  begged  them  to  do  so.  He  presented  certificates 
from  his  officers,  that  even  when  they  went  armed,  to  obtain  bread  from  the 
inhabitants,  they  had  scarcely  any",  success  ;  as  well  as  one  from  the  inhabitants 
of  Mines  begging  them  to  withdraw.  The  officers  remained  silent  with  the 
exception  of  Du  Vivier,  who  absolutely  denied  everything  De  Gannes  had 
said.  They  then  examined  Abbe  Maillard  and  Du  Vivier.  Maillard 
sustained  Du  Vivier's  story  and  denied  that  of  De  Gannes.  He  explained  that 
the  refusal  of  the  inhabitants  to  give  them  bread  began  only  when  De  Gannes 
announced  that  they  were  to  retire  ;  that  previously  there  was  abundance  in 
the  French  camp.  The  Abbe  added  that  when  De  Gannes  arrived  at  Mines, 

1  "  For  which  Reason  I  think  it  of  such  Consequence  to  his  Majesty's  Service  that  the  Indians  and  other  New 
England  Auxiliaries  enlisted  in  it  at  Annapolis  Royal  should  have  premiums  for  scalping  and  taking  Captive  the  Indian 
Enemy  as  the  People  within  this  Province  have,  and,  as  I  am  inform'd,  as  promised  to  the  French  Indians  by  Mr. 
Du  Vivier,  that  I  am  determin'd  the  present  Demands  of  Captain  Gorham  and  his  Indians  for  three  Scalps  and  one 
Captive  already  brought  in  shall  be  satisfy'd  in  some  Method  or  other  upon  the  hopes  of  a  Reimbursement  from  his 
Majesty,  and  shall  endeavour  to  procure  for  'em  the  same  premiums  for  the  future  from  the  Assembly  upon  the  prospect 
of  their  being  reimburs'd  in  the  same  Way,  since  I  find  I  can't  prevail  upon  'em  to  extend  their  own  Bounty  to  those 
enlisted  in  his  Majesty's  Service  within  his  Government  of  Nova  Scotia,  which  they  seem  to  have  an  unalterable 
persuasion  ought  to  be  given  at  his  Majesty's  Expence  "  (Shirley  to  Newcastle,  Nov.  9,  1744,  C.O.  5/900). 

I  have  found  no  reference  in  the  French  documents  to  any  bounty  offered  by  Du  Vivier.  It  does  not  seem  probable 
that  if  a  bounty  had  been  offered  this  proof  of  zeal  on  the  part  of  the  authorities  would  have  passed  unnoticed  in  letters 
to  the  Minister. 

1 1 6     DE  CANNES'  ACTION— DU  QUESNEL'S  DEATH      1744 

the  latter  held  a  council  with  himself  and  the  other  priests,  Miniac,  Lagoudalie, 
Leloutre  ;  that  he  represented  to  them  the  pitiful  situation  of  the  Acadians, 
whom  it  would  better  serve  to  join  with  the  English  than  to  enter  again  into 
allegiance  with  France,  as  Louisbourg  was  incapable  of  helping  them.  De 
Cannes  had  gone  on  to  make  the  same  statement  to  the  principal  inhabitants, 
with  whom  in  the  presence  of  the  priests  he  arranged  for  presenting  to  him  the 
request  to  withdraw  his  force,  on  which  De  Cannes  relied  as  a  justification,1  and 
notwithstanding  a  letter  from  Du  Chambon  blaming  him  for  being  so  precipitate, 
he  persisted  in  his  withdrawal.  So  when,  in  default  of  the  ships  of  the  line, 
which  for  a  variety  of  causes  had  not  been  sent,  on  the  night  of  October  25  the 
frigate  Le  Castor  and  two  vessels  with  French  troops  arrived  before  Annapolis, 
they  found  all  quiet.  Bonnaventure  went  ashore.  He,  to  find  out  the  situation, 
aroused  an  inhabitant  and  brought  him  and  a  companion  on  board  the  frigate, 
and  from  him  heard  the  astonishing  story  that  De  Cannes  had  remained  only 
two  days  at  the  camp.  The  Acadians  said  that  the  fort,  which  contained  only 
provisions  for  eight  days,  was  ready  to  surrender,  and  that  the  women  and 
children  were  prepared  to  fly  to  the  head  of  the  river,  at  the  time  the  situation 
was  relieved  by  the  departure  of  the  French.  After  a  stay  of  three  days  the 
expedition  returned  to  Louisbourg,  taking  with  them  their  captures,  two  small 
vessels  with  supplies  from  Boston.  The  deputies  of  the  Acadians  promptly 
made  their  peace  with  Mascarene. 

It  is  difficult  to  account  for  the  conduct  of  De  Cannes.  His  views  were 
justified  by  events,  but  unsuitable  to  be  proclaimed  by  a  French  officer.  Under 
any  administration  less  lax  than  that  of  the  French  Navy  at  that  time,  his 
conduct  would  have  met  with  the  severest  punishment.  Du  Chambon,  who  had 
succeeded  Du  Quesnel  after  the  latter's  sudden  death  on  October  9,  instead  of 
deposing  De  Cannes,  simply  reported  to  the  Minister.  Bigot,  ready  enough 
generally  to  express  his  opinion,  brought  no  influence  to  bear  on  Maurepas,  and 
De  Cannes  continued  to  serve,  and  eventually  passed  to  higher  positions. 

The  only  ones  to  suffer  were  the  priests.  Year  after  year  the  priests  of 
Acadia  had  been  cautioned  to  confine  themselves  to  their  sacerdotal  functions 
and  respect  the  British  power.  But  the  three  priests  who  fell  in  with  De  Cannes' 
views  were  deprived  of  their  allowance  from  the  French  Government. 
Desenclaves  was  not  present,  but  a  captured  letter  forwarded  by  Warren 
expresses  his  views  on  the  expedition  : 

:t  Surtout  aprcs  trop  de  Le"gerete*  que  avoit  fair  paroitre  du  Terns  de  Monsr.  Du  Vivier. 
II  est  6tonnant  que  Ton  se  soit  mis  dans  L'ldfe,  qu'avec  une  petite  Poigne"e  du  Monde  qui 
n'avoit  aucune  Ide"e  de  la  Guerre  on  Voulut  essayer  de  re"duire  un  Province  aux  Fortes 

'  Oct.  10,  1744,  N.S.  Archives,  vol.  i,  p.  135,  printed  on  p.  125. 


de  Boston"  .  .  .  and,  thus,  on  the  way  they  were  treated  as  priests,  "Le  Point  le  plus 
Important  est  celui  de  la  Religion  mais  nous  sommes  entierement  libre  la-dessus,  n'ayant 
cut  d'autre  Empechement  dans  nos  Exercises,  que  celui  qui  est  devenu  de  la  Part  de 
Francois ;  Je  pense  Monsr.  que  ces  Egards  que  Ton  a  la-dessus  ne  laissent  pas  d'atterer  les 
Benedictions  de  Ciel  sur  les  Puissances  qui  nous  commandent." l 

Returning  now  to  the  events  which  had  taken  place  at  Louisbourg,  we  find 
that  the  proceedings  of  the  French  men-of-war  were  as  ineffective  as  those  of 
the  land  forces.  Meschin  was  in  command  of  the  Ardent^  a  vessel  of  sixty-four 
guns,  which,  although  her  departure  had  been  planned  for  April,  did  not  leave 
Rochelle  until  June  18,  and  then  convoyed  twenty-six  vessels  for  the  West 
Indies  and  Canada.  After  leaving  them,  he  lost  his  bowsprit  in  a  gale,  shortly 
before  arriving  at  Louisbourg  on  August  16.  He  found  that  the  Caribou, 
a  vessel  built  at  Quebec,  had  been  rigged  and  manned  and  was  privateering 
under  the  command  of  Morpain.  He  promised  to  be  ready  to  sail  for 
Annapolis  by  the  5th  or  6th  of  September  after  his  repairs  were  made  and  his 
crew  refreshed  ;  but  when  the  time  came,  his  version  is  that  Du  Quesnel  said 
that  it  was  undesirable  to  go,  as  the  English  had  been  reinforced,  and  that  it  was 
important  to  guard  their  own  coast  from  privateers.  On  the  9th  they  went 
cruising,  captured  a  privateer  of  twelve  cannons,  twenty-one  swivels,  and  ninety 
men,  attempted  to  find  three  other  Boston  privateers  at  Newfoundland,  and 
returned  unsuccessful  on  October  1 1 . 

Bigot  and  Du  Chambon  proposed  to  him  to  attempt  Annapolis,  to  which 
he  willingly  agreed.  The  news  of  this  venture  having  spread  abroad,  the 
captains  of  eight  vessels  of  the  Compagnie  des  Indies  made  formal  representations 
to  him,  and,  as  well,  to  Du  Chambon  and  Bigot,  in  which  they  said  that  they  had 
orders  to  come  to  Louisbourg  to  be  convoyed  thence  to  France  by  the  King's  ships. 
Meschin  proposed  that  they  should  accompany  him  to  Acadia,  as  he  might  not 
be  able  to  regain  Louisbourg  on  his  way  to  France.  As  these  vessels  from 
China  and  India  were  without  moorings,  their  captains  justly  said  that  it  would 
be  an  enormous  risk  to  their  valuable  cargoes  to  accompany  him  into  the 
Bay  of  Fundy.  It  was  decided  that  he  should  take  them  to  France,  but,  as  the 
voyage  turned  out,  he  might  as  well  have  gone  to  Acadia,  for  the  fleet  of  fifty- 
two  sail  which  had  left  Louisbourg  under  his  convoy  became  dispersed,  and  he 
arrived  towards  the  end  of  December  without  any  of  them. 

A  knowledge  of  this  fleet  of  East  Indiamen  comes  to  us  through  a 
deposition  made  by  two  men  "  of  full  age "  who  appeared  in  Boston  in 
September.2  They  had  been  in  the  East  Indies,  and  being  minded  to  return 

1  Desenclaves  to  the  Superior  of  St.  Sulpice,  Sept.  25,  1765,  Ad.  Sec.  In  Letters,  No.  2655.     Desenclaves  was  a 
severe  critic  of  his  compatriots.     Maillard  also  was  not  hopeful  about  French  prospects  ;  see  Canadian  Archives,  1906,  p.  45. 

2  C.O.  5/900,  f.  122. 


home,  had  taken  passage  in  the  spring  on  a  French  East  Indiaman  the  Mars, 
and  sailed  for  France  in  company  with  the  Baleine.  Five  other  ships  left  the 
undesignated  port  in  the  East  about  the  same  time  :  three  of  which  were  from 
China,  loaded  with  tea  and  porcelain  ;  two  others  from  Bengal  and  Pondicherry, 
loaded  with  piece  goods  and  coffee  ;  and  the  fifth  from  the  Isle  De  Bourbon. 
Off  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope  they  fell  in  with  a  French  vessel,  which  advised 
them  that  war  was  about  to  be  declared.  At  Ascension,  where  they  arrived 
about  the  latter  end  of  May,  a  packet  boat  from  France  was  waiting  for  them 
with  orders  to  proceed  direct  to  Louisbourg.  They  arrived  there,  with  one 
exception,  in  July  and  August,  and  in  the  latter  month  also  came  in  two  armed 
vessels  of  the  company,  with  three  or  four  merchantmen  with  provisions 
and  reinforcements  for  the  armament  and  crews  of  the  ships  from  the  East. 
The  Mars  and  Baleine,  after  this  strengthening,  mounted  upwards  of  fifty 
guns,  each  with  a  crew  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  men.  The  Fullavie  (?), 
Philibert,  Argonaute,  and  the  Due  cT  Anjou  mounted  thirty  guns  with 
a  crew  of  one  hundred  and  fifty.  The  deponents  seem  to  have  returned 
from  Louisbourg  with  the  Canso  prisoners,  and  at  once  gave  this  information 
to  Shirley. 

Meschin  was  an  officer  of  good  reputation,  and  his  letters  shows  willingness 
to  act.  The  moral  effect  of  Shirley's  unarmed  and  untrained  reinforcements, 
in  deterring  Du  Quesnel  from  sending  vessels  against  Annapolis,  was  of  vastly 
greater  importance  than  the  services  of  these  levies  in  the  actual  defence  against 
the  skirmishing  of  Du  Vivier.1 

The  New  England  colonies  had  remained  on  the  defensive  during  the  year. 
All  that  they  did  was  to  lay  an  embargo  with  very  severe  penalties  on  trade  with 
Louisbourg  and  Martinique.  Dissatisfied  as  were  the  officials  of  Louisbourg 
with  the  number  of  privateers  they  were  able  to  send  out,  those  that  they  did,  as 
well  as  the  privateers  from  France,  making  Louisbourg  or  ports  in  the  West 
Indies  their  head-quarters,  seriously  interfered  with  the  extended  commerce  of 
New  England.  Even  with  the  towns  of  Isle  Royale  there  were  eighty  or  ninety 
vessels  regularly  employed.  The  fishing  fleet  of  New  England  was  very  large, 
and  their  coasters  plied  along  the  littoral  of  the  North  Atlantic  from  Newfound- 
land and  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence  to  the  West  Indies.  In  addition  to  Morpain, 
Doloboratz  was  in  command  of  a  privateer  of  twelve  cannon  and  as  many 
swivels,  in  which  he  assisted  at  the  reduction  of  Canso,  and  then  proceeded  to 
cruise  on  the  New  England  coast.  There  he  was  captured,  after  a  spirited 
encounter  in  which  no  one  on  either  side  was  injured,  by  Captain  Tyng  in  the 
Prince  of  Orange,  the  first  "  man-of-war "  of  Massachusetts.2  Nine  vessels 

1   In    addition   to  document*    referred    to,  ice    also  othcr$   in    I.R.   vol.   26  ;   Acadie,   vol.   8  ;   Marine,   B4,  vol.   56, 
and  C.O.  5/900.  a  Prjntc(j  jn  fu,,  on       ^ 


were  taken  on  the  banks  by  two  Louisbourg  privateers  early  in  June,  and  a 
merchantman  coming  from  Ireland,1  with  a  number  of  women  on  board,  who 
were  sent  on  to  Boston  with  the  Canso  prisoners.  These  unhappy  women  were 
thrown  into  terror  by  the  statement  of  the  master  of  the  vessel  on  which  they 
were  to  make  the  voyage,  that  he  had  the  right  to  sell  them  as  slaves.  Du 
Quesnel  informed  Shirley  of  this,  and .  begged  his  offices  on  their  behalf,  which 
the  latter  effectively  used.  In  another  detachment  Shirley  received  one  hundred 
and  seventy  prisoners,  and  Du  Quesnel  sent  in  addition  seventy-seven  to  Placentia, 
which  would  represent  a  not  inconsiderable  loss  inflicted  on  the  commerce  of 
New  England.2  Some  measure  of  it  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  the  sale  of  eleven 
vessels  taken  at  sea,  and  at  Canso  and  Annapolis  Royal,  produced  at  Louisbourg 
a  total  of  114,409!.,  according  to  the  account  rendered  by  the  treasurer  of 
Louisbourg.3  These  were  the  vessels  taken  on  the  King's  account,  others  were 
captured  by  private  parties,  and  Bigot  in  his  defence  says  that  he  sold,  to  the 
great  advantage  of  himself  and  partners,  the  prizes  which  he  sent  to  France 
instead  of  to  Louisbourg. 

The  damage  inflicted  by  the  English  during  this  year  was  vastly  greater 
than  the  losses  suffered  by  her  maritime  commerce,  although  it  was  greater 
than  that  of  France.  The  Kinsale  (44),  Captain  Robert  Young,  was  again 
sent  out  to  this  station.  She  left  Plymouth  on  the  yth  of  May.  On  her 
way  to  St.  John's,  Newfoundland,  where  she  arrived  on  the  23rd  of  June,  she 
captured  five  vessels.  By  the  2nd  of  August,  on  a  cruise  to  the  westward,  she 
had  destroyed  St.  Peter's  and  everything  between  Cape  Ray  and  Placentia,  and 
had  sent  an  expedition  northwards,  about  Trinity,  to  take,  sink,  burn,  and 
destroy  what  French  they  met  ;  a  kindly  office  which  was  also  performed  by 
Louisbourg  privateers  for  the  abandoned  English  fishing  stations  on  Newfound- 
land. At  Fishott,  Young's  expedition  met  with  resistance,  which  lasted  for  five 
hours,  but  they  were  rewarded  with  18,000  quintals  of  cod  and  "  80  ton  "  of  oil, 
and  another  expedition  captured  five  French  privateers.4  The  nature  of  these 
exploits  justifies  their  inclusion  in  the  record  of  privateering  rather  than  that  of 
military  operations. 

On  the  coast  of  Isle  Royale  and  in  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence  English  privateers 
were  most  active,  and  interrupted  the  commerce  between  Quebec,  Louisbourg, 
and  Martinique,  so  that  Beauharnois  and  Hocquart  wrote  that  it  was  necessary 
to  have  a  convoy  to  protect  their  trade.  Their  representations  were  supple- 
mented by  petitions  of  the  syndics  of  the  merchants  of  Quebec  and  Montreal, 

1  Possibly  the  Hope.     Cork  to  New  England,  reported  in  London,  Nov.  8. 

2  "  A  List  of  769  Ships  taken  by  the  Enemy  which  the  merchants  of  London  have  received  an  account  of,  from  the 
Commencement  of  the  War,  March  31,  1744,  to  the  nth  of  March  1745-6  inclusive,"  gives  the  name  of  six  taken  to 
Cape  Breton,  all  on  deep-sea  voyages. 

3  I.R.  vol.  27,  f.  116.  *  Captains'  Letters,  No.  2732. 


who  stated  that,  on  account  of  Boston  privateers,  the  previous  year  there  had 
been  only  half  the  ordinary  trade,  and  that  in  the  next  year  there  would  be 
none.  In  September  four  of  these  privateers  had  taken  five  St.  Malo  fishermen, 
and  had  other  prizes  even  in  sight  of  Louisbourg.  The  situation  was  so  serious 
that  these  officials  did  not  hesitate  to  refer  to  the  complaints  of  the  merchants 
against  ships  of  the  navy.  These  vessels  arrived  late  in  the  season,  their 
officers  were  indifferent  and  remained  in  port.  They  went  so  far  as  to  say  that 
four  vessels  manned  by  sailors  of  St.  Malo,  commanded  by  a  townsman  to  be 
selected  by  the  King,  would  be  a  more  efficient  protection  to  commerce. 

Boston  had  sent  out  since  June,  when  the  news  of  the  declaration  of  war 
was  received,  fifteen  privateers,  and  four  more  were  being  built.  Rhode  Island, 
a  nursery  ground  (Pepiniere)  of  privateers,  sent  out  twenty  -  three,  and 
Philadelphia  seven  or  eight,  which  were  fitted  out  with  money  borrowed  from 
Quakers,  whose  scruples  did  not  permit  them  to  engage  directly  in  the  lucrative 
sport.  Captain  Jeffo,  in  the  Swallow,  brought  to  Boston  not  only  the  declaration 
of  war,  but  the  news  that  he  had  captured  a  French  merchantman  bound  for 
Isle  Royale,  and  set  free  an  English  ship  homeward  bound  from  Jamaica.1  New 
York  gave  a  great  reception  to  Commodore  Warren,  who  in  the  Launceston 
brought  in  the  St.  Franfois  Xavier  with  a  rich  cargo  of  sugar  and  specie.  Captain 
Spry  of  H.M.  ketch  Comet,  received  at  Boston  a  handsome  piece  of  plate  in 
recognition  of  his  capture,  off  Nantucket,  of  a  noted  French  privateer  fitted  out 
at  Louisbourg.  She  was  more  heavily  armed  and  carried  a  crew  of  ninety, 
compared  with  sixty-four  men  of  the  Comet.  The  fight  lasted  over  five  hours, 
and  was  in  doubt  until  Le  Gras,  the  privateer  captain,  described  by  Shirley  as  a 
brave  commander,  was  shot  through  the  temple  by  a  musket-ball.2 

A  Massachusetts  privateer  did  almost  as  much  damage  as  H.M.S.  Kinsale 
and  the  expeditions  Captain  Young  sent  out.  He  broke  up  eight  fishing 
settlements  within  the  space  of  five  leagues,  burned  the  houses  and  works,  sunk 
nearly  one  thousand  boats,  took  seventeen  ships,  five  of  which  were  armed  with 
from  eighteen  to  twelve  carriage  guns,  and  took  nearly  seven  hundred  prisoners.8 
French  accounts  do  not  permit  the  identification  of  the  scene  of  these  exploits. 
They  would  appear  to  have  taken  place  in  the  Gulf,  and  the  sufferers  to  have 
been  the  vessels  of  St.  Malo  and  the  shore  fisheries  at  Gaspe.  Even  allowing 
for  exaggeration,  for  there  do  not  seem  to  have  been  outside  of  Louisbourg  any 
settlements  which  would  have  yielded  so  rich  a  spoil,  it  seems  probable  that  this 
one  vessel  did  more  damage  to  the  French  than  was  inflicted  by  all  the  Louis- 
bourg privateers  on  British  commerce. 

1  Shirley  to  Newcastle,  Nov.  9,  44,  C.O.  5/900,  f.  135. 

1  Among  her  crew  were  twelve  Irishmen,  one  of  them  lately  a  soldier  at  Canso.     They  were  detained  in  jail,  and 
the  others  exchanged  at  Louisbourg  for  the  men  of  New  England  privateers  captured  by  the  French. 
3  Shirley  to  Newcastle,  C.O.  5/900. 


The  practice  of  privateering  lacked  official  encouragement  as  little  on  one 
side  as  on  the  other.  Newcastle's  letter  to  the  Governor  of  Rhode  Island 
enclosing  the  declaration  of  war,  ends  with  a  command  to  do  everything  in  his 
power  to  encourage  privateering,  and  to  distress  and  annoy  the  French  in  their 
settlements,  trade,  and  commerce.1  The  authorities  of  Massachusetts  broke  up 
the  comfortable  custom  of  the  old  war  by  which  privateers  avoided  each  other, 
and  made  those  to  whom  commissions  were  given  give  bonds  that  they  would 
fight  privateers  as  well  as  capture  merchantmen.2  Governor  Shirley  sent  for  the 
owners  of  a  vessel  commanded  by  one  Captain  "  W.,"  who  had  allowed  a  small 
French  privateer  to  escape,  with  the  result  that  the  latter  had  since  captured 
several  American  vessels.  This  the  Governor  pronounced  to  be  "  scandalous 
behaviour."  The  minutes  of  Council,3  August  16,  less  discreet  than  the 
newspaper,  says  Capt.  Samuel  Waterhouse,  of  the  brigantine  Hawk  privateer, 
was  severely  reprimanded  for  "  not  vigorously  attacking  a  French  privateer  of 
much  lesser  force."  Having  promised  "  to  manage  his  affairs  for  the  future 
more  agreeably  to  the  honour  of  his  Commission,"  his  commission  was  continued 
on  trial  (News-Letter,  August).  This  rebuke,  or  the  chances  of  war,  led,  the 
next  week,  to  his  sending  three  prizes  to  Boston. 

The  occupation  was  so  attractive  that  one  hundred  and  thirteen  privateers 
were  sent  out  by  the  British  colonies  the  next  year.4  It  was  difficult  to  obtain 
crews,  as  they  were  fitted  out  faster  than  they  could  be  manned,  so  that  special 
inducements  had  to  be  offered  to  obtain  a  crew  for  the  Prince  of  Orange,  the 
ship  of  the  Commonwealth. 

The  effect  of  war  naturally  told  on  the  commerce  of  Isle  Royale,  although 
the  chances  of  the  sea  gave  some  opportunity,  even  amidst  privateers  and  men-of- 
war,  to  carry  on  trade.  In  1743  one  hundred  and  seventy-two  vessels  from 
other  places  than  Nova  Scotia  and  New  England  had  come  to  Isle  Royale.  In 
1744  there  were  fifty  less,  while  the  intercourse  with  these  British  colonies 
almost  completely  stopped,  for  in  place  of  seventy-eight  in  the  last  year  of  peace 
only  twelve  came,  and  it  is  possible  that  these  were  prizes  brought  in  and  not 

War,  however,  was  the  predominant  interest  of  the  time.  Doloboratz  was 
captured  in  the  vicinity  of  Boston,  and  while  there  as  a  prisoner  a  great  deal  of 
liberty  was  given  him.  After  his  return  to  Louisbourg  he  presented  to  the 
authorities  a  memoir  stating  the  condition,  not  only  of  Boston,  but  of  other  towns 
as  far  south  as  Philadelphia.  He  said  that  he  knew  Boston  perfectly,  had 
previously  been  at  Rhode  Island,  and  had  spent  five  days  there  at  this  time,  where 

1  R.I.  Records,  vol.  5,  p.  80.  2  News-Letters.  s  C.O.  5/808. 

4  The  Boston  News-Letter  proudly  says  that  this  is  a  greater  fleet  than  the  Royal  Navy  in  the  time  of  Elizabeth. 
The  Gentleman's  Magazine  says  one  hundred  were  fitted  out. 

122     REPORTS  OF  ATTACK  FROM  NEW  ENGLAND       1744 

he  consulted  with  a  native  of  France,  residing  in  that  place  (Newport),  from 
whom  he  had  bought  a  thousand  barrels  of  flour  to  be  delivered  in  April.  His 
view  was  that  the  defences  of  these  places  were  weak.  He  would  risk  his  life 
on  laying  them  under  contribution  if  he  had  five  or  six  vessels  of  war,  a  fire- 
ship,  and  some  small  merchant  vessels.  He  excepts  from  these  New  York, 
which,  being  under  a  Royal  Government,  would  be  more  difficult  to  attack, 
as  order  is  well  maintained  there,  better  than  in  those  other  towns  where  every 
one  is  master. 

Although  Du  Chambon's  experience  had  been  entirely  at  Isle  Royale  he 
seems  to  have  done  what  he  could  with  vigour.  As  to  warning  the  Minister,  he 
did  so  as  forcibly  as  his  predecessors,  and  had  more  specific  information  to  give 
him.1  He  sent  on  Doloboratz'  memoir,2  which  contained  the  report  that  an 
enterprise  against  Louisbourg  was  being  prepared  in  England,  and  that  the 
four  northern  colonies  had  offered  the  English  Government  the  services  of  six 
hundred  men  and  a  money  contribution  amounting  to  ^ 800,000  of  provincial 
money,  if  they  would  send  fifteen  men-of-war  for  an  expedition  against  Louis- 
bourg. The  merchants  of  Boston  believed  so  firmly  that  this  offer  would  be 
accepted  that  they  had  laid  in  extra  stores  to  sell  to  this  fleet.  Du  Vivier  also 
brought  back  word  from  Acadia,  that  an  enterprise  against  Louisbourg  was  to  be 
attempted  in  the  spring,  and  the  matter  had  been  so  fully  discussed  with  his 
English  acquaintances  that  he  was  able  to  add  that  the  English  hoped  to  arrange 
devices  by  which  the  Island  Battery  could  be  shrouded  in  smoke  long  enough 
for  their  ships  to  enter  the  harbour.  The  authorities  impressed  on  the  Minister 
that  if  he  did  not  forestall  the  English,  who  would  follow  the  ice  to  blockade 
the  port  and  prevent  their  receiving  any  help,  the  position  of  Louisbourg  would 
be  a  sorrowful  one,  as  the  English  intention  was  to  starve  out  the  inhabitants, 
and  thus  compel  the  reduction  of  the  place.  Du  Chambon  was  doing  all  he 
could  for  its  defence,  and  attempted  to  provide  a  large  quantity  of  faggots  on 
the  quay  for  the  use  of  the  fire-ships.  He  proposed  a  battery  on  the  top  of  Cap 
Noir,  and  asked  the  Minister  to  send  out  more  cannon  and  bar  iron  for  use  in  the 
guns  of  the  Island  Battery.  Their  efforts  were  not  confined  to  preparations  for 
defence.  They  sent  a  new  memorandum  of  the  requirements  for  an  expedition 
against  Annapolis  more  powerful  than  the  preceding  ones,  as  Annapolis  was 
to  be  strengthened,  and  recommended  for  its  command  Du  Vivier,  who,  on 
account  of  his  health,  had  been  allowed  to  go  to  France  for  the  winter.8 
They  also  pointed  out  that  an  expedition  could  be  sent  against  Placentia 
with  fair  prospects  of  success,  for  its  defences  consisted  of  pickets,  a  battery 
in  bad  order,  and  a  garrison  of  forty-five  soldiers  and  three  officers.  These 

1   See  p.  124.  a  MSS.  Que.  vol.  3,  f.  211. 

3  The  Minister  was  urged  to  send  him  out  with  the  first  vessel  in  the  spring 

1744  THE  MUTINY  123 

were  the  final  events  of  the  active  season  of  Louisbourg  and  this  warfare  of 
unwilling  amateurs. 

The  somnolent  condition  of  a  Louisbourg  winter  was  broken  into  by  an 
extraordinary  event.  Serious  efforts,  which  have  been  recounted,  were  made  by 
Forant  and  Bigot  to  remedy  the  conditions  of  the  troops,  and  there  is  no 
evidence  in  the  official  correspondence  to  show  that  after  this  time,  and  the 
subsequent  steps  taken  by  Du  Quesnel  to  suppress  the  canteens,  there  was  any 
unusual  degree  of  dissatisfaction  among  the  troops.  But  as  told  by  Du  Chambon 
and  Bigot,1  on  the  2yth  of  December,  in  the  dreary  dawn,  the  Swiss  troops  armed 
themselves,  and  took  their  ranks  in  the  parade  ground  of  the  citadel.  Their  one 
officer  who  was  on  duty  made  them  return  to  their  quarters,  after  having  promised 
them  all  they  wanted.  Instead  of  remaining  quietly  there,  they  went  into  the 
quarters  of  the  French  troops  and  so  effectively  reproached  them  for  not  having 
joined  them  as  they  had  promised,  that  the  whole  garrison  formed  up  in  the 
court.  They  then  sent  the  drummers  of  the  garrison,  threatened  by  the  bayonets 
of  twenty  men,  to  beat  to  arms  throughout  the  town.  All  the  officers  rushed 
immediately  to  the  citadel,  which  some  of  them  entered  only  by  craft  or  supplica- 
tion. The  others  were  unable,  even  sword  in  hand,  to  move  the  sentinels,  whom 
the  mutineers  had  placed.  De  la  Perelle,  the  major,  placed  himself  before  the 
drummers  in  the  town  in  an  effort  to  stop  them,  but  was  unable  to  do  so,  as  he 
was  covered  by  the  muskets  and  bayonets  of  the  soldiers.  They  even  surrounded 
him  and  carried  him  off  his  feet  to  some  distance,  but  he  at  last  prevailed  on  them 
to  cease  the  drumming,  and  by  agreement  followed  them  into  the  fort,  where  the 
officers  by  this  time  had  got  the  soldiers  to  form  themselves  in  their  companies. 

Order  being  restored,  they  promised  to  recognize  De  la  Perelle  as  their 
major,  and  Du  Chambon,  who  had  been  on  the  scene,  asked  them  the  reasons 
why  they  had  so  signally  failed  in  their  duty  to  the  King.  They  said  that  each 
company  required  half  a  cord  more  wood,  the  return  of  five  cords  which  had 
been  kept  back  from  them  on  account  of  their  having  stolen  the  same  quantity  ; 
that  there  should  be  given  their  proper  rations  to  those  soldiers  who  had  been 
in  the  expeditions  to  Canso  and  Acadia  ;  that  the  recruits  of  1741  should  receive 
their  clothing,  which  had  not  been  given  them,  as  it  had  not  been  sent  out  for  the 
extra  ten  men  then  added  to  each  company.  All  this  was  accepted,  and  Bigot  at 
once  began  to  carry  out  the  agreement.  The  Swiss  again  came  out  under  arms 
after  the  dispersal  of  the  French  troops,  although  their  officer  had  promised 
them  all  they  demanded,  and  they  refused  to  recognize  M.  Cherrer  (Cailly) 
for  their  commander.  They  had  been  uneasy  for  some  time,  and  he  had  been 
in  bed  for  a  month,  which  prevented  him  appearing  in  person. 

The  officials  thought  the  object  of  the  troops  was  to  take  possession  of  the 

1  Letter  of  Dec.  31,  vol.  26,  pp.  231-234. 


magazines  and  of  the  treasure  and  to  yield  the  place  to  the  enemy  in  the  spring. 
They  had  not  given  up  this  idea  of  rebellion,  although  their  demands  had  been 
complied  with.  The  situation  was  intolerable.*  All  the  officials  were  their 
slaves  ;  the  mutineers  caused  all  the  disorder  which  they  wished  ;  made  the 
merchants  give  them,  at  their  own  prices,  all  they  asked  for  ;  for  as  there  were 
only  forty  or  fifty  of  these  merchants  and  these  not  armed,  they  were  unable  to 
join  together  to  resist.  They  were  in  consequence  more  dead  than  alive,  and 
intended  to  go  to  France  the  following  autumn,  if  they  were  permitted  to 
live  so  long.  The  revolt  was  complete,  for  there  was  not  a  single  soldier  who 
had  not  joined  the  mutineers.  All  the  Swiss  corporals  and  sergeants  had  sus- 
tained their  soldiers,  and  the  only  men  who  stood  firm  were  the  sergeants  of  the 
French  companies  and  the  small  company  of  French  artillerymen.  At  the  time, 
the  3  ist  of  December,  when  Du  Quesnel  and  Bigot  wrote  this  letter  there  happened 
to  be  in  the  Port  two  small  vessels  bound  for  the  West  Indies.  They  wrote  it 
secretly,  as  they  were  under  observation  night  and  day,  and  they  did  not  send 
the  vessels  direct  to  France  for  fear  that  some  vessel  coming  out  would  warn  the 
mutineers  that  they  had  asked  for  help.  If  this  were  known  the  soldiers  would 
first  ransack  the  town,  and  then  deliver  it  to  the  enemy,  for  they  were  aware  of 
their  strength,  and  knew  that  the  six  hundred  civilians  in  the  colony  would  be 
easily  overpowered.  The  situation  became  less  alarming,  and  the  soldiers  behaved 
not  badly  during  the  winter,  owing  to  some  extent  to  the  tact  of  Bigot,  and  the 
fact  that  nothing  was  required  of  them  by  their  officers. 

The  condition  of  the  King's  finances  was  so  low  that  in  February  Maurepas 
felt  that  he  could  do  little  for  Isle  Royale  ;  he  accepted  all  the  suggestions  that  had 
been  made,  even  to  sending  a  captain  of  St.  Malo  to  cruise  with  Morpain  in  the 
Gulf,  which  the  syndics  of  Quebec  and  Montreal  had  thought  desirable.  The 
Vigilant,  La  Renommte,  and  Le  Castor  were  intended  for  Isle  Royale,  and  as 
M.  Chateaugue,  who  had  been  appointed  Governor,  was  too  ill  to  leave  France 
the  command  of  the  colony  was  given  to  Perrier  de  Salvert,  who  was  commander 
of  the  Mars,  in  which  ship  he  was  to  proceed  to  Louisbourg. 

A.  BOSTON  WEEKLY  NEWS-LETTER,  June  29,  1744 

On  Monday  last  Capt.  Tyng  in  the  Province  Snow,  returned  from  a  Cruize,  and 
brought  in  with  him  a  French  Privateer  Sloop  with  94  Men,  mounted  with  8  Carriage 
and  8  Swivel  Guns,  burthen  between  70  and  80  Tuns,  commanded  by  Capt.  Delebroitz, 
which  was  fitted  out  from  Cape  Breton,  and  sail'd  about  3  Weeks  before  :  Capt.  Tyng 
discover'd  her  last  Saturday  Morning  about  9  o'Clock,  as  he  was  laying  too  off  of  Crab 

1744  APPENDICES  125 

Ledge,  15  Leagues  from  Cape  Cod,  it  being  very  Calm  :  Perceiving  she  had  a  Topsail  and 
was  bearing  down  towards  him,  Capt.  Tyng  took  her  to  be  the  Province  Sloop  commanded 
by  Capt.  Fletcher  ;  but  soon  afte^  as  she  drew  nearer,  he  suspected  her  to  be  a  French 
Cruizer  under  English  Colours,  whereupon,  in  order  to  prevent  a  Discovery  he  ordered 
his  Colours  to  be  struck,  his  Guns  to  be  drawn  in  and  his  Ports  to  be  shut  close,  and  at 
the  same  Time  the  Bulk  Head  to  be  taken  down.  When  the  Privateer  had  got  within 
about  Gunshot  of  Capt.  Tyng,  taking  the  Snow  to  be  a  Merchantman,  they  fired  upon 
him  :  upon  which  Capt.  Tyng  threw  open  his  Ports,  run  out  his  Guns,  hoisted  his  Colours 
and  fired  upon  them  :  Perceiving  their  Mistake,  they  tack'd  about,  put  out  their  Oars  and 
tug'd  hard  to  get  off"  after  firing  two  or  three  Guns  more.  It  continuing  very  calm,  Capt. 
Tyng  was  obliged  to  order  out  his  Oars  and  to  row  after  her,  firing  several  Times  his  Bow 
Chase  at  her,  in  which  the  Gunner  was  so  skilful,  that  9  Times  the  Shot  did  some  Damage 
either  to  her  Hull  or  Rigging :  About  Two  o'Clock  the  next  Morning  he  came  up  pretty 
close  with  them  being  very  much  guided  by  4  Lanthorns  which  they  had  inadvertently 
hung  out  upon  their  Rigging  in  the  Night ;  finding  they  were  bro't  to  the  last  Tryal, 
attempted  to  board  Capt.  Tyng,  which  he  perceiving,  brought  up  his  Vessel  and  gave  them 
a  Broadside,  they  having  before  thro'  Fear  all  quitted  the  Deck  :  The  Mast  being  disabled 
by  a  Shot,  it  soon  after  broke  off  in  the  middle :  Upon  firing  the  Broad-side  they  cry'd  for 
Quarter ;  and  then  Capt.  Tyng  order'd  them  to  hoist  out  their  Boat  and  bring  the  Captain 
on  board,  but  they  answered  that  their  Tackling  was  so  much  shatter'd  that  they  could  not 
get  their  Boat  with  it  j  they  were  then  told  they  must  do  it  by  Hand  :  Accordingly  they 
soon  comply'd  and  the  Captain  being  brought  on  board  deliver'd  his  Sword,  Commission, 
&c.  to  Capt.  Tyng,  desiring  that  he  and  his  Men  might  be  kindly  us'd,  he  was  promised 
they  should,  and  then  the  other  Officers,  being  a  2nd  Captain,  3  Lieutenants,  and  others 
Inferiour,  were  brought  on  board,  and  the  next  Day  the  rest  of  the  Men  who  were  secur'd 
in  the  Hold. 

The  Night  after  Capt.  Tyng  brought  them  into  this  Harbour,  they  were  convey'd 
ashore  and  committed  to  Prison  here ;  and  the  next  Morning  50  of  them  were  guarded 
to  the  Prisons  at  Cambridge  and  Charlestown  :  The  Officers  and  Men  are  treated  with 
Humanity  and  Kindness. 

1  Tis  remarkable  that  notwithstanding  the  great  number  of  Men  on  either  Side,  in  the 
attack  and  surrender,  there  was  not  one  kill'd  or  wounded. 

Capt.  Morepang  in  a  Schooner  of  no  Tuns,  mounting  10  Carriage  Guns,  4  Pounders, 
and  10  Swivels,  with  120  Men,  came  out  with  Delebroitz  from  Cape  Breton,  and  we  hear  is 
appointed  to  Guard  the  Coast  there  till  a  Vessel  of  greater  Force  arrived  for  that  Purpose. 


To  M.  De  Ganne,  Knight,  Captain  of  infantry  commanding  the  troops  and  the 
savages  united,  at  present  in  the  country. 

We  the  undersigned  humbly  representing  the  inhabitants  of  Mines,  river  Canard, 
Piziquid,  and  the  surrounding  rivers,  beg  that  you  will  be  pleased  to  consider  that  while 
there  would  be  no  difficulty  by  virtue  of  the  strong  force  which  you  command,  in  supplying 
yourself  with  the  quantity  of  grain  and  meat  that  you  and  M.  Du  Vivier  have  ordered,  it 




would  be  quite  impossible  for  us  to  furnish  the  quantity  you  demand,  or  even  a  smaller, 
since  the  harvest  has  not  been  so  good  as  we  hoped  it  would  be,  without  placing  ourselves 
in  great  peril. 

We  hope,  gentlemen,  that  you  will  not  plunge  both  ourselves  and  our  families  into  a 
state  of  total  loss  ;  and  that  this  consideration  will  cause  you  to  withdraw  your  savages  and 
troops  from  our  districts. 

We  live  under  a  mild  and  tranquil  government,  and  we  have  all  good  reason  to  be 
faithful  to  it.  We  hope,  therefore,  that  you  will  have  the  goodness  not  to  separate  us  from 
it  ;  and  that  you  will  grant  us  the  favour  not  to  plunge  us  into  utter  misery.  This  we 
hope  from  your  goodness,  assuring  you  that  we  are  with  much  respect,  gentlemen, 

Your  very  humble  and  obedient  servants — acting  for  the  communities  above  mentioned. 
Oct.  10, 1744. 

Then  follow  the  names  of  ten  signers. 
Mr.  Alex  Bourg,  Notary  at  Mines, 

I  am  willing,  gentlemen,  out  of  regard  for  you,  to  comply  with  your  demand. 


Oct.  13,  1744.! 

Estat  des  pieces  d'artillerie  qui  sont  en  Batterie  pour  la  deffense  du  port  et  place  de 
Louisbourg,  et  des  poudres  de  Guerre  qu'il  Faut  pour  tirer  cinquante  coups  par 
canon,  et  autant  par  mortiers  et  le  moindre  nombre  d'hommes  que  L'on  peut  mettre 
a  chaque  Batterie  pour  Les  Servir.2 

Canons  et  Mortiers.        Poudres.        Hommes. 



Batterie  Royalle 

.  ,     de 



19,600         196 



Morticr    ..... 

.   '     de 



75°             7 


Mortier     ..... 






1         5° 

Batterie  dc  L'lslc 




1  5,200 



Mortier    ..... 




1,300            "8 


Batterie  dc  La  pec.    . 








de  la  grave         .... 







Batterie  dauphine 







Barbette    ..... 







Epcron     ..... 







Bastion  dc  Roy 







sur  le  cavalier) 

du  cap  noir      J 







Bastion  Maurcpas) 
Morticr                    / 




1,200   |         14 


Bombc  poudre  quil  Faut    . 

*  i 

1,300  J 


1  6        62,300 




1   Translated  in  N.S.  Archives,  vol.  I,  p.  135.  2  I.R.  vol.  26,  f.  60. 

3  p.  =  inches  in  calibre.      From  this  statement  it  is  clear  that  the  representations  of  the  Governors  from  St.  Ovide  to 
Du  Chambon,  that  Louisbourg  was  undermanned  and  inadequately  supplied  with  munitions  of  war,  were  well  founded. 




Total  des  munitions  de  guerre  en 
provision  dans  cette  place 

66,921  1.  de  poudre 

1,772  Bombes  de  12  pouces 
833  Bombes  de  9  pouces 
284  Bombes  de  6  pouces 

1,867  Boulets  de  36 

2,147  Boulets  de  24 

2,520  Boulets  de  18 

1670  Boulets  de  12 

1214  Boulets  de  8 

280  Boulets  de  6 

1929  Boulets  de  4 


A  Louisbourg,  Ce  ioe  9bre  1744. 


THE  events  of  1744,  and  the  condition  of  New  England  at  the  close  of  that 
season,  did  not  indicate  that  so  remarkable  an  event  as  the  expedition  against 
Louisbourg  would  take  place  in  the  following  year.  Massachusetts,  the  most 
enterprising  and  the  most  important  of  the  northern  colonies,  had  placed  herself 
in  a  "  posture  of  defense,"  and  levies  from  her  people  had  succoured  Annapolis. 
There  does  not  seem  to  have  been  any  disposition  to  do  more.  The  Memoire 
du  Canada  for  this  year  states  that  an  Indian  Chief  sent  by  Vaudreuil  to  Boston 
brought  back  a  report  that  Shirley  took  an  oath  in  the  presence  of  eighty 
Councillors  that  he  would  not  begin  operations  against  the  French,  but  that 
if  even  a  child  were  killed,  he  would  exert  all  his  powers  against  them  and 
their  savage  allies.1 

Massachusetts  was  in  no  condition  to  undertake  any  serious  expenditures. 
Her  treasury  was  empty.  A  lottery  was  authorized  by  the  legislature  (Dec. 
14,  1744;  Jan.  7,  1745),  to  raise  £7500  for  the  pressing  necessities  of  the 
province  in  "  its  present  difficult  circumstances."  Her  debt  was  excessive. 
Through  her  issues  of  paper  money,  the  rate  of  exchange  was  much  more 
unfavourable  than  that  in  the  other  colonies,  and  was  sinking  to  a  rate  of 
ten  to  one,  which  was  reached  in  1 747.  Her  fisheries  were  declining  ;  and 
but  one  favourable  material  condition  existed — the  harvests  of  the  year  had 
been  abundant. 

There  had  been,  however,  talk  of  military  movements.  A  Boston 
newspaper  published,  on  August  2,  a  London  letter  stating  that  a  body  of 
troops  was  to  be  sent  to  the  northern  colonies,  "  to  undertake  an  expedition 
of  great  importance  against  France  on  that  side."  This  is  probably  the  basis 
for  the  report  of  Doloboratz,  for  it  might  well  have  risen  to  his  definite  figures  in 
passing  to  the  social  stratum  in  which  the  privateer  moved  during  his  detention 
in  Boston.  Du  Vivier  brought  back  to  Louisbourg  from  the  Annapolis  expedition 
the  same  report  ;  and  the  Malouin  fishermen  taken  by  New  England  privateers 

1  June  30,  1744,  "  Divers  Delegates  from  the  Six  Nations  of  Indians  living  to  the  Westward  of  Albany  .  .  .  had 
a  conference  this  day  with  his  Excellency  in  the  Council  Chamber  in  the  presence  of  both  Houses  "  (Minutes  of  Assembly, 
Mats.,  C.O.  5/808  ;  MSS.  Que.  3,  p.  215). 


1744  WILLIAM  SHIRLEY  129 

were  told  by  their  captors  that  an  expedition  against  the  French  was  in  con- 
templation for  the  following  year.  As  indicating  the  temper  of  the  people 
of  Massachusetts,  it  may  be  noted  that  Doloboratz  said  that  it  was  only  those 
engaged  in  the  fisheries  who  were  interested,  that  while  the  country  folk  would 
like  to  see  such  an  expedition  succeed,  they  did  not  seem  to  him  inclined  at 
all  to  support  it  in  person,  and  but  little  as  taxpayers.  After  speaking  of 
the  difficulty  of  getting  men  for  Annapolis  he  goes  on  : 

"  I  have  talked  to  many  of  these  people.  I  believe  on  the  whole  that  the  townspeople, 
except  the  bourgeois  and  the  superior  artisans,  are  privateering,  and  that  the  country  people 
will  not  engage  without  large  promises  and  rewards.  It  is  true  that  there  was  very  easily 
found  plenty  of  men  to  engage  in  the  expedition  to  Carthagena  and  elsewhere  in  the 
Spanish  Indies,  but  beyond  the  fact  that  they  were  disgusted  with  the  ill  success  of  this 
enterprise,  they  were  attracted  to  it  by  the  hope  of  the  gold  and  silver  of  that  country, 
and  they  are  persuaded  that  there  are  more  blows  to  suffer  than  gold  pieces  to  capture 
in  an  expedition  against  Isle  Royale,  and  they  are  free  men  (maistres  de  leur  volont£)." 
Of  two  hundred  and  fifty  sent  away  from  Rhode  Island  in  the  West  India  expedition  not 
twenty  had  returned.1 

The  impressions  of  Doloboratz  seem  reasonable.  He  underestimated  the 
resources  of  these  plain  people,  "  masters  of  their  will,"  acting  under  the  influence 
of  two  men,  the  one  the  Governor  of  the  province,  the  other  its  principal 
citizen,  President  of  the  Governor's  Council. 

William  Shirley,  the  Governor  of  Massachusetts  at  this  time,  was  an 
Englishman  who  emigrated  to  Boston  in  1732,  where  he  practised  as  a  barrister 
and  occupied  subordinate  official  positions,  until  in  1741  he  was  appointed 
Governor.  His  preliminary  experience  was  of  great  value  to  him,  for  he 
gained  from  it  a  knowledge  of  the  people,  among  whom  he  was  to  represent 
the  Crown.  He  was  tactful,  and  thus  found  it  easy  to  deal  with  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  people.  He  was  as  keen  to  persuade  them  to  courses  which 
he  believed  to  be  in  the  interests  of  the  province,  as  to  strain  the  authority 
of  his  commission  in  carrying  them  out.  His  policies  were  progressive,  and 
in  these  troublous  times  expensive,  and  were  based  on  the  fundamental  view 
that  there  was  not  room  enough  on  the  continent  for  colonies  of  both  France 
and  England.2  He  was  industrious,  a  voluminous,  persuasive,  and  clear  writer, 
undismayed  by  responsibility,  and  to  these  solid  qualities  added  a  taste  for 
military  strategy,  the  results  of  which  in  the  Seven  Years'  War  tarnished  the 
reputation  gained  by  his  antecedent  career. 

William  Pepperrell  was  a  merchant  of  Kittery,  born  in  1697,  the  son 
of  a  Welsh  or  Devonshire  man  who  had  founded  the  business,  which  his  son 

1  R.I.  Rec.  vol.  v.  p.  146.     Massachusetts  also  suffered  severely. 

2  Douglass  is  his  bitter  critic.     He  says  that  the  financial  condition  of  the  colony  was  due  to  his  policy,  and  that 
the  Louisbourg  expedition  was  a  source  of  gain  to  Shirley. 



prosecuted  with  such  success  that  he  was  one  of  the  richest  men  in  the  country. 
He  was  not  born  in  the  purple  of  New  England  life,  among  those  who,  in  the 
ordinary  course  of  family  events,  go  to  Harvard  College  ;  his  education  was 
that  of  the  country  school,  with  some  special  instruction.  His  biographers 
note  that  his  grammar  was  imperfect  in  early  life,  a  thing  not  uncommon  in 
more  exalted  circles  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and  certainly  not  unique  in 
New  England.  He  had  received  that  splendid  practical  training  of  an  old- 
time  merchant,  whose  dealings  brought  him  into  contact  with  men  of  all 
conditions  in  his  own  country,  and  with  many  foreigners.  No  occupation  is 
more  broadening  in  its  effect  on  a  mind  weighted  by  responsibility  and  capable 
of  learning  from  a  life  widely  diversified  in  its  daily  occurrences.  His  sense 
of  responsibility  to  public  duties  is  shown  in  his  acceptance  of  office.  At  the 
age  of  thirty  he  was  elected  to  the  House  from  his  own  district,  and  after 
one  term  was  appointed  to  the  Council,  to  which  he  was  annually  called  until 
his  death,  thirty-two  years  later.  For  eighteen  years  he  was  President  of 
the  Board.  He  was  also  colonel  of  one  of  the  militia  regiments  of  Maine. 
Any  man  whose  dealings  extended  from  the  lumber  camp  and  the  fisheries 
to  the  transportation  and  exchange  of  their  products  in  the  markets  of  the 
world,  a  man  of  wealth  and  of  position,  must  possess  great  influence  in  any 
community,  the  people  of  which  are  largely  dependent  on  his  activities.  The 
fact  that  Pepperrell's  command  of  the  Louisbourg  expedition  made  enlistment 
popular,  indicates  that  his  character  inspired  confidence  and  his  disposition 
liking,  not  only  in  his  neighbourhood,  but  wherever  his  reputation  extended. 

The  prominence  given  to  these  two  names  is  not  meant  to  reopen  a 
discussion  as  to  the  person  to  whom  is  due  the  credit  for  proposing  the 
expedition.  The  project  had  for  years  been  considered  as  possible  by  French 
and  English.  When  in  November  1744  Shirley  wrote  to  Newcastle  proposing 
that  an  expedition  against  Louisbourg  should  be  sent  out  from  England,  he 
was  following  up  what  Clark,  Governor  of  New  York,  had  written  home  in 
1741.  The  latter,  in  his  turn,  held  the  same  views  as  his  predecessor  Crosby.1 
At  the  same  time  as  Clark's  second  reference  to  the  matter,  Shirley  had  sent 
through  Kilby  a  description  of  Louisbourg  and  the  means  of  attacking  it, 
which  the  latter  vouched  for,  as  it  was  made  by  a  kinsman  of  his  own.  Kilby, 
who  was  agent  of  Massachusetts  in  London,  wrote  the  3Oth  of  August  1743, 
recommending  projects  against  the  French,  and  closed  his  letter  by  urging  an 
early  attack  upon  Cape  Breton,  "  the  situation,  Strength,  &  every  other  Circum- 
stance relating  whereto,  I  am  possess'd  of  a  perfect  &  Minute  account  of  .  .  .": 
Warren  was  in  possession  of  this  document  or  similar  information,  for  he 
discussed  this  project  not  only  in  his  letters  to  Corbett,  Secretary  to  the 

1  N'.Y.  Col.  Doc.  v.  961,  970;  vi.  iS;,  229.  2  C.O.  217/31,  p.  157. 


Admiralty,1  but  also  in  private  letters.  Therefore,  the  proposals  of  Vaughan,2 
of  Bradstreet,  of  Judge  Auchmuty,  the  writer  of  a  valuable  pamphlet  on  the 
Importance  of  Cape  Breton,  of  a  Merchant  of  London,  who  wrote  in  1744  to 
the  Ministry  urging  the  reduction  of  Louisbourg,  dealt  with  a  matter  that 
had  been  much  discussed. 

The  project  was  in  the  air.  The  British  colonist  of  the  eighteenth  century 
turned  his  back  on  the  potential  opulence  of  the  vast  continent  on  the  shores 
of  which  he  lived,  exploiting  it  only  for  a  sustenance  and  for  material  with 
which  to  engage  in  maritime  trade,  of  which  the  fisheries  were  the  foundation. 
French  and  English  from  before  the  time  that  Louisbourg  was  settled  pictured 
to  themselves  the  superb  monopoly  which  would  fall  to  the  nation  which 
succeeded  in  dispossessing  its  rival. 

Such  play  of  the  imagination  is  the  poetry  of  practical  affairs,  and  the  spring 
of  political  events.  The  people  of  New  England  were  of  an  intellectual  temper 
to  feel  this  speculative  impulse.  It  is  as  certain  that  the  capture  of  Isle  Royale 
was  the  theme  of  discussion  long  before  conditions  made  the  project  at  all 
practical,  as  that  many  then  held  the  opinion  that  the  colonies,  if  prosperous, 
would  not  remain  faithful  to  the  Crown  ;  although  a  score  of  years  elapsed 
before  events  brought  these  slowly  germinating  impulses  to  a  head.  In  the 
same  way  the  startling  accuracy  of  French  forecasts  of  the  method  of  attack 
on  Louisbourg  came  from  the  discussions  with  which  St.  Ovide  and  the  others 
relieved  the  dreariness  of  their  idle  hours. 

Shirley's  proposition  to  Newcastle  in  December  had  been  that  six  or  seven 
ships  could  force  the  harbour  and  land  troops,  of  which  1500  to  2000  would 
be  enough.  At  this  time  he  contemplated  a  regular  expedition  sent  out  by 
England,  but  the  knowledge  he  gained  in  the  next  few  weeks  led  him  to 
propose,  and  finally  to  carry  through,  the  expedition  which  was  the  crowning 
achievement  of  his  career.3 

The  General  Court  of  Massachusetts  was  in  session  on  January  9.  Shirley, 
apparently  without  taking  any  one  into  his  confidence,  asked  its  members  to 
take  an  oath  of  secrecy  as  to  the  subject  of  a  communication  he  desired  to  make.4 

1  Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  2654,  Sept.  1744. 

2  Vaughan's  work   in   promoting  the  expedition,  and  in  self-effacing  services  therein,  were  unquestionably  great. 
His  own  account  of  them  is  given  in  pp.  360-9.     Read  in  connection  with  other  accounts,  they  give  the  impression 
that  he  was  a  man  of  great  energy,  public  spirit,  and  self-sacrifice,  but  lacking  in  judgment  and  the  power  of  working 
with   others.     The  type   of   man    in  our   times    most  likely  to   be   found  among  inventors.     These   documents  make 
interesting  reading,  and  throw  some  light  on  the  events  narrated,  and  are  on  this  ground  commended  to  the  attention 
of  the  reader. 

8  This  was  based  on  the  reports  of  the  Canso  prisoners,  and  of  other  persons  who  had  visited  Louisbourg.  In  New 
England  there  must  have  been  many  scores  of  sea-faring  people  who  knew  Louisbourg  as  well  as  any  but  their  native 
towns,  all  of  which  confirmed  the  news  that  the  garrison  was  small,  all  of  it  discontented,  the  Swiss  on  the  verge  of 
mutiny,  and  the  inhabitants  suffering  from  a  »carcity  of  provisions,  the  result  of  Shirley's  own  policy. 

4  Parkman,  Half-Century,  vol.  ii.  p.  85. 

132      SHIRLEY'S  PROPOSAL  TO  GENERAL  COURT       1745 

This  they  did,  and  he  presented  an  address  on  the  subject  of  an  expedition 
against  Louisbourg.  This  document  begins  by  recounting  that  in  the  course 
of  the  present  war  Massachusetts  must  expect  from  Louisbourg  "  annoyance  in 
trade,  captures  of  provision  vessels,  and  destruction  of  fisheries "  ;  that  the 
interest  of  the  province  would  be  greatly  served  by  the  reduction  of  the  place  ; 
that  the  time  was  opportune,  for  from  information  which  Shirley  had  he 
believed  that  if  two  thousand  men  were  landed  on  the  island,  they  could  damage 
the  out-settlements  and  fisheries,  and  lay  the  town  itself  in  ruins,  and  might 
even  make  themselves  masters  of  the  town  and  harbour.  He  asked  for  suitable 
provision  for  the  expenses  of  the  expedition,  which  if  partially  successful  would 
pay  for  itself,  "  and  if  it  should  wholly  succeed,  must  be  an  irreparable  loss  to 
the  enemy  and  an  invaluable  acquisition  for  this  country." 

The  next  day  the  House  appointed  a  Committee  of  eight,  of  whom  four 
were  Colonels  and  one  a  Captain,  and  the  Council  added  seven  to  their  number, 
with  instructions  "  to  sit  forthwith  and  report  as  soon  as  may  be."  The  result 
of  their  deliberations  appears  in  a  short  address  to  his  Excellency  from  both 
branches  of  the  legislature,  on  January  12,  in  which,  while  they  express 
approval  of  the  scheme,  they  are  convinced  that  they  are  unable  to  raise  a 
sufficient  sea  and  land  force,  and  "  dare  not  by  ourselves  attempt  it."  They 
pray  the  Governor  to  lay  before  the  King  the  danger  of  the  colonies  from 
Louisbourg,  and  to  express  the  disposition  of  the  province  to  aid  in  its 
reduction  in  conjunction  with  other  Governments.1 

During  this  time  Pepperrell  was  presumably  absent  from  Boston.  He  at 
all  events  was  not  present  at  these  sittings  of  the  Council.  Shirley  had,  unaided, 
made  his  proposal,  and  had  failed  in  carrying  the  legislature  with  him.  He  was 
much  cast  down  by  their  refusal.  James  Gibson,  once  an  officer  in  the  British 
army,  then  a  merchant  in  Boston,  tells  that  the  Governor  came  to  him  and 
asked  him  if  he  felt  like  giving  up  the  Louisbourg  expedition.  This  led  to 
Gibson  undertaking  to  obtain  signatures  for  a  petition  from  the  merchants  of 
Boston  and  Marblehead,  asking  for  a  reconsideration.2 

Pepperrell  came  back  to  town,  if  he  had  been  absent,  and  presumably  was 
won  over  by  Shirley.  Gibson's  influential  petitions  were  presented  to  the 
Legislature,  which  was  addressed  on  the  I9th  and  22nd  by  Shirley.  A  new 
Joint  Committee,  with  Pepperrell  at  its  head,  was  appointed.  It  examined 
witnesses,  and  reported  on  the  25th,  to  the  effect  that  they  were  convinced  that 
it  was  incumbent  on  the  Government  to  embrace  this  opportunity,  and  proposed 
that  the  Captain-General,  Shirley,  issue  a  proclamation  to  encourage  the  enlist- 

1  Shirley  at  once  took  the  matter  up  with  Newcastle  in  a  long  letter  about  the  advantages  of  Cape  Breton,  the 
danger  of  an  attack  from  Louisbourg  on  British  ships  and  colonies.  He  lays  more  emphasis  on  the  advantages  which 
would  follow  its  capture  than  on  these  dangers  (Shirley  to  Newcastle,  Jan.  14,  1744/5,  C.O.  5/900). 

*  Vaughan  was  active  in  this  work.      See  Biographical  Appendix. 


ment  of  three  thousand  volunteers  under  officers  to  be  appointed  by  him.  It 
recommends  the  rate  of  pay  of  the  men,  that  they  shall  have  all  the  plunder, 
that  warlike  stores  be  provided,  and  provisions  for  four  months,  that  a 
transport  service  be  organized  so  that  the  force  could  leave  by  the  be- 
ginning of  March,  and  that  application  be  made  to  the  other  colonies  to  furnish 
respectively  their  quotas  of  men.  This  report  was  concurred  in  by  both 
branches  the  day  of  its  presentation,  and  consented  to  by  Shirley.  The  House 
voted  that  half  a  pound  of  ginger  and  a  pound  and  a  half  of  sugar  be  given 
to  each  soldier,  and  unanimously  voted  against  impressing  any  part  of  the  three 
thousand  men.  The  majority  was  small.  It  is  said  that  it  would  have  been  a 
tie  had  a  member  not  broken  his  leg  as  he  was  hastening  to  vote  in  opposition. 
Other  accounts  say  that  the  majority  was  narrow,  some  members  known  to  be 
opposed  having  remained  away  from  the  House,  a  result  which  might  well 
have  been  produced  by  the  influence  of  important  merchants  who  favoured 
the  project.1 

It  seems  certain  that  the  influence  of  Pepperrell,  exerted  personally  and 
through  his  associates,  was  paramount  in  bringing  about  this  result.  His  later 
statement,2  "  it  must  be  confessed  that  there  would  have  been  no  Expedition 
against  this  place  had  I  not  undertook  it,"  must  refer  to  his  course  at  this  time 
rather  than  to  his  acceptance  of  the  chief  command  which  immediately  followed. 
Shirley  could  unquestionably  have  found  another  leader.  Without  Pepperell's 
influence  he  failed  with  the  General  Court.  When  it  was  exerted  in  support 
of  his  scheme,  Shirley  obtained  for  it  the  necessary  legislative  sanction. 

Both  French  and  English  historians  for  the  most  part  agree  that  the 
attacks  on  Canso  and  Annapolis  Royal,  the  interruption  of  fisheries,  and  the 
devastation  of  privateers  led  the  colonies  to  take  a  desperate  step  to  avert 
an  impending  calamity.3  There  is  much  in  a  superficial  reading  of  the  official 
documents,  e.g.  Shirley's  address  already  quoted,  to  sustain  this  view.  This 
aspect,  moreover,  would  be  the  most  serviceable  one  to  present  to  the  legislators 
of  provinces  in  acute  financial  distress.  An  expenditure  to  protect  the  state 
from  an  impending  danger  is  always  legitimate,  but  with  a  vigorous  people 
the  hope  of  gain  is  a  stronger  incentive  than  the  fear  of  loss.  It  may  be 
maintained  that  the  real  motives  which  led  to  the  acceptance  of  Shirley's 
proposal,  when  all  the  facts  were  before  the  Assembly,  were  aggressive,  not 

1  The  House  Journals  do  not  mention  the  oath  of  secrecy  or  the  majority.     Governor  Wanton  says  it  was  one  (R.I. 
Rec.  vol.  v.  p.  145). 

2  Pepperrell  to  Stafford,  Nov.  4,  1745,  Preface  to  An  Accurate  "Journal  and  Account,  etc. 

3  "Lettre  d'un  Habitant,"  Parsons's  Life  of  Pefperrell. 

4  "The  Motives,  which  have  induc'd  the  Assembly  to  set  this  Expedition  on  foot  before  Spring,  are  the  weak 
Condition  of  the  Garrison  and   Harbour  of  Louisbourg  in  comparison  of  what  it  will  be  when   they  shall  have  rec'd 
their  supplies  of  Provisions,  Stores  and  Recruits   from  Old  France  by  that  time,  besides  that  the  Season  of  the  Year 


It  is  said  also  that  fishermen  thrown  out  of  employment  by  the  war  formed 
a  considerable  part  of  the  troops  raised  ;  but  the  fact  that  New  England  privateers 
could  not  find  crews,  that  the  press-gang  was  organized,  if  not  used,  to  secure 
sailors  for  the  vessels  of  the  province,1  is  not  compatible  with  this  statement. 
When  the  British  colonies  sent  out  about  ten  times  as  many  privateers  as  the 
French,  the  latter  being  vastly  less  effective,  it  is  not  reasonable  to  believe  that 
New  England  was  seriously  dismayed  by  French  privateering  or  failed,  in 
irritation  at  her  small  losses,  to  calculate  her  surpassing  gains. 

These  considerations  lead  to  the  conclusion  that,  describing  Louisbourg 
as  the  Dunkirk  of  America  as  an  oratorical  flourish,  New  England  had 
no  real  fear  of  invasion,  but  that  the  monopoly  of  the  fisheries  meant  such 
prospective  wealth,2  that  sound  business  insight  in  the  leaders  of  her  people 
led  to  their  grasping  an  opportunity  to  benumb  French  competition  in  the 
markets  of  the  world.  This  opportunity  presented  itself  when  war  existed : 
Louisbourg  was  short  of  provisions,3  its  fortifications  weak,  its  garrison  small 
and  mutinous. 

Shirley  carried  with  him  the  most  influential  merchants,  for  their  care  for 
public  advantage  was  stimulated  by  the  prospect  of  private  gain.  They  found 
a  following,  for  at  no  time  in  its  history  were  the  people  of  Massachusetts  more 
recklessly  enterprising.  Every  motive  was  appealed  to,  as  is  always  the  case 
when  the  success  of  a  policy  depends  on  the  support  of  an  independent  people. 
The  expedition  against  Louisbourg,  to  the  fanatic  was  directed  against  Romanism; 
to  the  timorous  was  a  preventive  of  invasion  ;  to  the  greedy  a  chance  for 
plunder  ;  and  to  all,  an  object  for  the  self-sacrifice  of  every  patriotic  Briton. 

Shirley's  activity  in  the  week  which  followed  the  decision  to  undertake  the 
expedition  was  prodigious.  On  February  I  he  wrote  a  long  dispatch  to 
Newcastle.  He  laid  before  him  plans  for  the  expedition,  informed  him  about 
the  artillery  he  could  provide.4  He  had  also  communicated  with  the  other 
governments,  and  had  received  a  favourable  reply  from  New  Hampshire  and 
Rhode  Island.  The  plan  for  the  expedition  was  based  on  that  handed  into  the 
Committee,5  but  modified  by  Shirley  with  the  help  of  Bastide,  the  engineer  of 
Annapolis  Royal,  who  was  in  Boston  at  the  time. 

Shirley  had  already  discovered  the  impossibility  of  arranging  matters  for 

will  be  most  Advantageous  in  March  for  Attacking  the  Town,  the  present  Spirit  of  the  People  in  this  Province  to 
attempt  it  at  this  time,  and  the  Advantage  which  the  Surprize  of  such  an  Expedition  as  well  as  from  New  England 
and  Great  Britain  (in  case  his  Majesty  shall  support  it  from  thence)  will  give  his  Majesty  against  the  Enemy  "  (Shirley 
to  Newcastle,  Feb.  i,  1745,  C.O.  >/9OO,  f.  15-).  l  Parsons. 

-  "Besides  we  had  not  the  same  dependence  upon,  and  expectation  of  advantages  from  the  fishery  as  Massachusetts 
and  New  Hampshire  had,  which  undoubtedly  was  a  main  inducement  to  their  people  to  list  so  cheerfully  as  they  did" 
(Governor  Wanton,  R.I.  Records,  vol.  5). 

3  The   burden  of  Shirley's  reproaches   to    Captain   W.   was   that   the   privateer    he   let   slip  captured   several   vessel! 
laden  with  provisions,  to  the  benefit  of  the  French  at  Louisbourg,  "  who  so  much  wanted  "em." 

4  Eight  22's,  one  24,  two  9  and  11  inch  mortars.  5  Apparently  by  Vaughan  (Parkman,  Half-Century). 

1745  DETAILS  OF  THE  PLAN  135 

the  expedition  to  sail  by  March  i,  as  recommended  by  the  Committee,  and  at 
this  time  was  in  hope  to  get  it  away  by  the  middle  of  the  month.  All  saw  the 
great  importance  of  blockading  the  port  before  the  arrival  of  the  ships  from 
France,  which,  from  what  was  known  of  Louisbourg  and  its  condition,  the  New 
Englanders  felt  would  be  sent  out  at  the  earliest  moment.  Some  merriment 
has  been  created  by  the  proposal  of  Vaughan  to  take  Louisbourg  by  surprise. 
It  may  be  said  the  plan  with  undisciplined  men  under  untrained  officers  required 
too  many  accurate  conjunctions  to  be  successful.  In  defence  of  its  projector,  it 
may  be  recalled  that  Du  Vivier,  certainly  familiar  with  the  conditions  of  Nova 
Scotia,  proposed  to  enter  Annapolis  when  its  ditches  were  filled  with  snow  ;  that 
the  drifts  at  Louisbourg,  at  least  once,  were  deep  enough  to  make  it  necessary 
to  dig  sentries  out  of  their  boxes,  and  that  its  Governors  had  united  in  holding 
that  a  surprise  of  the  place  was  more  to  be  feared  than  a  regular  attack.  It  is 
to  be  noted  that  this  element  in  the  preliminary  plan  on  which  the  legislators 
voted  to  undertake  the  expedition  was  abandoned  by  Shirley.  "As  to  that 
Part  of  the  Scheme,  which  is  propos'd  for  taking  the  Town  by  Surprise,  so 
many  Circumstances  must  conspire  to  favour  it,  and  so  many  Accidents  may 
defeat  it,  that  I  have  no  great  dependence  upon  it,  and  shall  guard  as  well  as  I 
can  by  Orders  against  the  Hazard  that  must  attend  it."  His  project  was  at 
this  time,  February  i ,  to  make  a  base  at  Canso,  land  near  the  town  and  make 
an  attack  on  the  Royal  Battery,  the  weakness  of  which  on  the  landward  side 
was  known  to  him  and  his  advisers.  The  bombardment  of  the  town  was  to 
follow,  without,  it  would  appear,  any  prospect  of  carrying  it,  but  with  fair  hope 
of  holding  the  position  until  the  arrival  of  an  English  naval  force.1  In  event 
of  being  unable  to  do  this,  he  felt  sure  that  the  buildings  and  fishing  gear,  not 
only  of  the  environs  of  Louisbourg,  but  of  other  places  on  the  island,  could  be 
destroyed,  and  that  the  colonial  forces  could  retire  to  Canso  and  there  encamp 
until  advices  were  received  from  Great  Britain  as  to  whether  or  not  the  King 
would  support  the  expedition  with  ships  and  troops.2 

Shirley  carried  with  him  Benning  Wentworth,  Governor  of  New  Hampshire, 
so  far  that  he  was  induced  to  strain  the  credit  of  his  province  in  a  case  of  such 
urgency,  by  issuing  more  paper  money,  Vaughan  being  his  representative  in 
these  delicate  negotiations.  Having  succeeded  in  this,  Shirley  complicated  the 
situation  by  a  flourish  of  diplomatic  courtesy,  in  intimating  to  Wentworth  that 
had  it  not  been  for  his  gout,  Shirley  would  have  appointed  him  to  the  chief 
command.  Wentworth  assured  Shirley  that  this  would  not  prevent  him 
serving.  Shirley  was  thus  forced  to  throw  the  onus  of  not  accepting  this 
offer  on  various  people  of  consideration  whom  he  consulted  in  the  matter. 

1  To  Newcastle,  Feb.  I,  1745. 

2  Although  Shirley  did  not  think  well  of  a  surprise,  it  is  included  in  his  instructions  to  Pepperrell,  as  he  was  about 
sailing  (M.H.S.  first  series,  vol.  i). 


They  were  clearly  of  the  opinion  that  a  change  in  the  command  would  be 

The  pay  offered  was  255.  per  month  and  a  blanket,  besides  the  ginger  so 
promptly  voted  by  the  House.  Other  inducements  were  offered,  such  as  that 
those  who  enlisted  were  not  liable  to  be  pressed  for  service  on  the  vessels  of  the 
province,  and  for  them  processes  of  law  for  the  collection  of  debt  were  suspended 
until  their  return  from  the  campaign. 

While  the  determination  of  causes  which  led  to  the  taking  up  of  an 
expedition  like  this  is  hypothetical,  there  is  no  question  that  the  decision  having 
been  made,  the  people  threw  themselves  heartily  into  the  project.  The  complete 
militia  system  of  New  England  made  this  easy,  and  it  was  along  the  lines  of  an 
existing  organization  that  recruiting  proceeded.  There  was  some  hesitation  in 
certain  districts  at  the  outset,  on  account  of  doubt  as  to  whom  the  command  of 
the  expedition  would  be  given,  as  well  as  about  the  company  officers.  Various 
officers  took  active  steps  to  secure  their  men  ;  one  Captain  Sewall  began  his 
work  by  giving  the  men  of  his  militia  company  a  dinner  ;  he  also  increased  their 
pay  from  his  own  pocket,  and  offered  to  provide  for  any  wives  and  families 
that  might  be  left  destitute.  Others  were  as  eager,  if  less  free-handed,  and  very 
shortly  complaints  arose  of  the  officers  poaching  on  each  other's  companies. 
The  allotment  of  commissions  gave  trouble  to  Shirley  as  well  as  to  Wentworth, 
who  said  he  would  rather  be  a  porter  than  a  Governor.  But  these  are  the 
drawbacks  of  earnestness  and  activity.  Shirley  was  active  and  foresighted,  his 
legislature  prompt  in  passing  acts,  and  the  officers  of  the  forces  and  members  of 
committees  were  efficient.  The  course  of  events  as  detailed  in  the  records  of 
these  busy  weeks  displays  the  actions  of  a  capable  people,  trained  to  the  dispatch 
of  business.  Chief  among  the  active  was  Vaughan,  who  was  too  unbalanced  to 
be  trusted  with  an  executive  office,  but  whose  zeal  had  done  much  to  ensure  the 
undertaking  of  the  expedition,  for  he  had  gathered  witnesses,  secured  signatures 
to  the  petitions,  and  harangued.  When  it  was  determined  upon  he  rode  post 
here  and  there,  and  his  impetuous  haste  must  have  appeared  to  Shirley  and 
Pepperrell,  who  considered  means  as  well  as  ends,  that  of  a  meddler. 

"  I  have  desired  ye  gentl  at  York  to  march  one  compa  next  Mondy  to  Boston,  to  give 
life  &  Spring  to  ye  affair.  I  hope  yoou'l  encourage  ye  same.  I  have  written  to  Doctor 
Hale  to  desire  ye  Govr.  to  ordr.  to  be  at  Boston  next  week,  for  dispatch  is  ye  life  of 
businesse.  I  have  proposed  ye  2000  men,  if  no  more,  be  ready  to  sail  by  ye  twentyeth  day 
of  ye  month.  Portsmo,  Feb.  8,  i"44."2 

The  general  eagerness  to  serve  and  the  importance  of  Pepperrell's  opinion 
are  shown  in  the  letters  received  by  him  from  willing  participants  in  the 

1    Ualf-Ccntury,  vol.  ti.  p.  91. 
8   M.H.S.  sixth  series,  vol.  10.     Vaughan  accompanied  the  expedition  as  a  member  of  the  Council  of  War. 


expedition.  One  gentleman,  rejected  as  a  surgeon,  wrote  begging  that  he  might 
go  in  any  capacity,  and  reported  to  the  General  that  he  had  already  made  some 
progress  in  enlisting.  A  clergyman  informed  Pepperrell  with  inexpressible 
pleasure,  that  he  had  been  appointed  a  captain  ;  another  friend  expressed  his 
regret  that  the  legislature  of  New  Hampshire,  of  which  he  was  a  member, 
would  not  allow  him  to  serve.  A  gentleman,  whose  iconoclastic  zeal  has  been 
quoted  by  Parkman  in  Half-Century  (vol.  ii.  p.  98),  wrote  in  terms  of  such 
perfervid  piety  that  it  is  difficult,  with  our  changed  standards,  to  find  in  them 
the  note  of  sincerity  ;  particularly,  as  his  excuse  for  not  going  on  the  expedition 
is  the  only  one  of  those  given  which  seems  inadequate.1 

Mr.  John  Gibson  followed  up  his  work  in  stirring  up  the  merchants  of 
Boston  and  Marblehead  to  approach  the  legislature,  by  raising  a  company  at 
his  own  charges  and  commanding  it  on  the  expedition.  He  had  the  unusual 
distinction,  when  the  Parliament  of  Britain  defrayed  the  expenses,  to  be  named 
in  the  Act  with  the  colonies.  The  response  of  the  other  Northern  Colonies 
was  considerable  and  prompt.  In  view  of  the  emergency  Wentworth  ignored 
the  royal  prohibition  to  issue  any  more  paper-money,  and  the  little  Province  of 
New  Hampshire  sent  a  regiment  of  500  men,  150  of  them  being  at  the 
charges  of  Massachusetts.2  Connecticut  raised  516  men,  and  to  their 
commander,  Roger  Wolcott,  was  accorded  the  rank  of  Major-General,  which 
made  him  second  to  Pepperrell. 

Rhode  Island  on  the  5th  of  February  authorized  her  sloop  Tartar*  to 
assist  in  the  expedition  ;  a  month  later,  the  raising  of  1 50  men.  Its  legislature 
reconsidered  this  action  on  learning  that  Shirley  was  acting  on  his  own  initiative,4 
but  later,  at  an  unspecified  date,  passed  an  act  encouraging  soldiers  to  enlist 
for  service  in  the  expedition.  The  full  regiment  of  500  men  authorized 
by  this  act  did  not  serve,  but  apparently  three  companies  went,  which  were 
incorporated  in  Pepperrell's  regiment,  under  commission  from  the  Governor  of 
Rhode  Island,  which  was  dated  early  in  June.  They  thus  arrived  at  Cape  Breton 
too  late  to  take  part  in  the  siege.  The  response  from  the  Southern  Colonies  was 
much  less  satisfactory.  New  York  loaned  some  guns  to  Shirley  ;  but  its  legisla- 
ture debated  ten  days  as  to  what  they  could  do,  and  voted  ^3000  ;  but  a  new 
legislature  being  elected,  this  sum  was  by  it  increased  to  ^ooo.5  New  Jersey 

1  M.H.S.  sixth  series,  vol.  10,  contains  letters  which  display  the  attitude  of  Massachusetts  and  New  Hampshire. 

2  304  men  were  in  the  New  Hampshire  regiment. 

3  The  Tartar  was  the  colony  vessel.     She  carried  fourteen  guns  and  twelve  swivels. 

4  Their  defence,  a  sound  one,  is  in  R.I.  Rec.  vol.  5,  p.  145.     Extracts  therefrom  at  the  end  of  this  chapter. 


LOUJSBOURG,  September  13,  1745. 

..."  You  see,  sir,  I  speak  here  as  an  American  and  a  well  wisher  to  the  colonies  :  and  am  therefore  really  sorry  the 
particular  one  I  mean,  New  York,  to  which  I  am  nearest  related,  has  not  had  a  greater  share  in  this  great  acquisition  ;  for 
it's  a  mistaken  notion  in  any  of  the  colonies,  if  they  think  they  are  not  greatly  interested,  even  the  remotest  of  them,  in 


gave  £2000  in  July,  which  was  laid  out  in  provisions,  and  Pennsylvania,  prevented 
by  the  peaceable  principles  of  some  of  its  people  from  providing  arms,  gave 
£4000  for  provisions  and  clothing. 

The  brigadiers  to  the  expedition  were  Samuel  Waldo,  like  Pepperrell  a  large 
land-owner  and  merchant,  and  Joseph  Dwight,  who  was  Colonel  of  the  artillery. 
Its  active  head  was  Richard  Gridley,  to  whom  we  owe  that  map  of  Louisbourg 
which  has  been  so  frequently  copied.  The  success  of  the  enlistment  was  so  great 
that  3250  men  were  raised.  The  Committee  of  War,  whose  chairman  was  Mr. 
John  Osborne,  was  active  in  providing  for  these  troops.  A  naval  force  and 
transport  was  of  the  utmost  importance.  Massachusetts  bought  a  new  brig  of 
about  four  hundred  tons,  armed  her  as  a  frigate,  and  placed  her  under  the 
command  of  Capt.  Edward  Tyng,  who  had  previously  served  the  Commonwealth, 
and  distinguished  himself  as  the  captor  of  Doloboratz.  He  was  in  command  of 
the  flotilla. 

Pepperrell  discharged  the  military  duties  he  had  assumed  as  he  would  carry 
on  any  business  operation.  He  asked  advice  from  Mr.  J.  Odiorne,1  a  merchant 
of  Portsmouth,  who  was  familiar  with  the  coasts  of  Acadia  and  Cape  Breton. 
Odiorne  urged  a  prompt  attack,  at  which  he  thought  their  men  would  be  better 
than  at  a  regular  siege,  and,  as  a  second  resort,  to  hold  their  ground  until  rein- 
forcements arrived,  "if  itt  should  cost  us  halfe  our  substances."  Advice  was 
volunteered  to  him  by  the  Rev.  John  Barnard,  probably  on  the  ground  that  that 
gentleman  had  in  1 707  been  at  the  siege  of  Annapolis.  In  the  universal 
enthusiasm  and  the  certainty  that  the  expedition  was  favoured  by  Heaven,2  it 
may  be  noted  that  he  is  one  of  the  few  who  modified  his  statement  on  this  point 
by  saying,  "  I  doubt  not  but  the  cause  is  God's,  so  far  as  we  can  well  say  any  cause 
of  this  nature  can  be."  Shirley  made  efforts  in  every  direction  to  obtain  armed 
vessels,  as  the  colonial  armed  vessels  were  inadequate  to  protect  the  transports  or 
themselves  from  the  forces  they  might  expect  to  meet.  The  men-of-war  on  the 
American  station  which  were  within  easy  reach  were  under  orders  from  the 
Admiralty  to  act  as  convoys,3  and  he  found  himself  without  any  promise  of 
assistance  from  them  with  the  exception  of  the  Bien  Aime,  a  prize  commanded 
by  Captain  Gayton. 

the  reduction  and  support  of  this  conquest,  which  will  quiet  them  all  in  their  religious  and  civil  rights  and  liberties,  to 
latest  times,  against  a  designing,  encroaching,  and  powerful  enemy,  and  increase  our  trade  in  the  fish,  fur,  and  many  other 
valuable  branches,  to  such  an  advantageous  degree  to  the  colonies,  and  our  mother  country,  as  must  ever  induce  them  to 
be  extremely  grateful  to  those  who  have  opened  so  fair  a  channel  for  the  increase  of  wealth  and  power  "  (Rhode  Island  Colonial 
Records,  vol.  5,  p.  144). 

'  Mr.  Odiorne  spells  the  name  of  the  place  '•  Lcwisbrug,"  possibly  a  phonetic  effort,  for  the  same  pronunciation  is  still 
cx'.nnt  locally.  The  New  England  form  of  "  Chapcau  Rouge,"  which  appears  in  the  documents  for  the  Bay,  always  spelled 
by  the  French  Gabori  or  Gabarus,  seems  to  have  come  from  the  "  little  knowledge  "  of  the  "  linguisters  "  of  the  expedition, 
who  would  be  more  familiar  with  the  spoken  than  the  written  name.  The  local  pronunciation  of  Mainadieu  preserves  its 
more  ancient  form  of  spelling  Menadou. 

2  M.H.S.  vol.  10,  pp.  108  and  114.  3  E.'tfam,  Riptsr.'s  Pr'nt. 


Shirley  applied  to  the  Commodore  of  the  station  for  assistance,1  sending  a 
dispatch  to  him  to  the  West  Indies,  where  the  fleet  was  then  cruising.  This 
officer  was  Peter  Warren,  a  native  of  County  Meath,  who  had  entered  the  navy 
at  fifteen  as  an  ordinary  seaman.  His  professional  advancement  was  rapid  and 
at  forty-two  he  found  himself  a  Commodore,  somewhat  broken  in  health,  and 
anxious  to  obtain  an  appointment  as  Governor  of  the  Jerseys  or  to  reach  the 
"  pinickle  "  of  his  ambition  by  succeeding  Clinton  as  Governor  of  New  York. 
Mrs.  Warren,  a  native  of  New  York,  did  not  care  for  the  "  Beau  Mund,"  so  that 
at  this  time  he  looked  forward  to  retiring  from  the  sea  and  spending  the  remainder 
of  his  days,  if  a  Governor's  chair  were  denied  him,  on  a  property  he  owned  at 
Greenwich,  Long  Island.2  Notwithstanding  these  views,  he  had  applied  in 
September  for  command  of  all  ships  in  North  America,  which  was  given  to  him.8 
Before  he  received  Shirley's  letter  the  project  of  an  expedition  against  Louisbourg 
was  familiar  to  him.  As  already  stated,  he  also  wrote  about  it  to  Corbett, 
Secretary  of  the  Navy,4  and  to  his  friend  the  Hon.  Geo.  Anson,  then  Lord  of 
the  Admiralty,  with  whom,  notwithstanding  the  differences  in  social  and  pro- 
fessional rank,  he  was  on  terms  of  frank  intimacy.  Warren  was  fully  alive  to 
the  importance  of  reducing  the  French  power,  and  set  forth  clearly  in  a  letter  to 
Anson  its  many  advantages.  He  goes  on  : 

"  Yet  I  think  it  wou'd  be  in  vain  to  attempt  Lewisbourg,  without  a  moral  Certainty  of 
Success.  As  it  is  a  very  regular  fortification,  and  has  always  a  Strong  Garrison  of  regular 
troops  in  it,  I  submit  whether  it  is  not  likely,  that  it  will  hold  out  a  Siege  longer  than  the 
season  will  allow  the  Besiegers  (if  not  numerous  enough  to  take  it  by  storm)  to  keep  the 
Field,  and  what  can  they  do  in  that  case  in  the  winter  ? — It  is  certain  if  Ships  go  into  the 
Harbour  to  attack  it  the  people  must  determine  to  Succeed  or  dye.  Where  that  is  the  case, 
there  shou'd  be  (I  believe  the  world  will  allow)  a  Strong  possibility  of  Success. 

"  What  I  have  here  sett  forth,  being  granted,  how  is  it  to  be  effected  ?  What  number 
of  ships  from  England  of  Regular  troops  or  artillery  and  other  Ordnance  Stores  will  be 
necessary  ?  And  what  quantity  of  Provisions,  and  other  Stores,  of  all  kinds,  will  be  proper 
for  such  an  undertaking  ?  And  what  part  will  the  Colonies  themselves  take  in  such  an 
attempt  ?  Whether  they  will  assist  in  it  heart  and  hand  ?  What  assistance,  and  in  what 
Shape,  will  each  different  Government  that  is  willing  to  assist  give  its  assistance.  Whether 
in  Money,  Shipping,  Men  or  Provisions  ? 

"By  forming  all  this  into  a  proper  plan,  it  will  not  be  very  hard  to  judge  of  the 
probability  of  succeeding,  or  not,  in  such  an  attempt.  And  the  formation  of  it  previous  to 
the  Execution,  cannot  be  any  Expense  to  Great  Britain,  or  the  Colonies.  And  when  it  is 
form'd,  and  approv'd,  then  let  it  be  Executed  with  all  the  Intrepidity,  that  becomes  good 
Officers,  and  Men,  both  of  Sea  and  Land. 

1  Jan.  29,  Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  No.  3817.  He  also  asked  assistance  from  Sir  Challoner  Ogle  and  Admiral  Darvers, 
who  replied  in  the  negative  (Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  vol.  233). 

2  In  an  article  on  Greenwich  Village  by  T.  A.  Janvier,  Harper's  Magazine,  Aug.  1893,  is  a  pleasant  account  of 
Warren's  life  there. 

8  In  Letters,  2654  j  Out  Letters,  486.  4  Sept.  8,  1744,  from  New  York  (Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  vol.  2654. 

1 4o  WARREN'S  VIEWS  1745 

"  But  to  undertake  an  affair  of  such  consequence  and  Expence,  too  rashly,  that  must,  if 
they  fail  in  it,  Involve  both  England  and  the  Colonies,  in  a  large  debt  to  no  purpose,  I 
think  wou'd  be  madness,  both  in  the  Advisers,  and  the  Executors,  of  such  an  attempt. 

"What  you  mention  with  regard  to  an  Expedition  in  Embrio  against  Cape  Britton,  is 
what  I  have  long  consider'd  as  of  the  greatest  consequence  to  our  Country,  this  my  good 
friend  Mr.  Corbet  and  myself  have  exchang'd  some  private  letters  upon,  and  I  have,  tho'  in 
a  very  Inaccurate  manner,  formerly  run  over  some  of  the  benefits  that  wou'd  accrue  from  it, 
and  some  steps  necessary  to  be  taken  previous  to  the  attempt,  which  I  beg  leave  to  address 
to  you,  for  your  Private  and  Candid  opinion,  as  the  Inaccuracy  of  it  will  not  bear  the  light, 
tho'  the  matter,  if  well  digested,  is  worthy  of  the  Ministrys  most  serious  deliberation. 

"  What  the  event  will  be  of  Mr.  Shirleys  scheme,  who  is  a  very  worthy  man,  I  won't 
take  upon  me  to  prejudge,  but  when  time  lets  me  more  into  it,  you  shall  know. 

"  I  beg  leave  to  assure  you,  nothing  shall  be  wanting  on  my  part,  so  farr  as  I  have  power 
or  Capacity  to  serve  my  King  and  Country,  and  I  am  persuaded,  I  can  do  it  in  no  shape 
better,  than  in  that  scheme,  if  attended  with  success,  and  I  have  none  more  at  heart,  tho'  I 
cou'd  have  pitch'd  upon  none  attended  with  a  prospect  of  greater  uneasyness,  and  less  personal 
advantage,  I  mean  where  Booty  is  esteem'd  so,  which  I  hope  will  never  be  so  with  me."  ] 

Shirley's  letter  to  Warren,  dated  January  29,  went  over  much  the  same 
ground  as  his  dispatch  to  Newcastle  of  February  i,  but  dwelt,  as  was  natural,  on 
the  military  aspect  of  the  expedition,  and  clearly  set  forth  the  importance  of  the 
naval  assistance,  which  he  assumed  Warren  would  send.  "  I  must  acknowledge 
that  the  hopes  I  have  Entertained  of  it  have  been  of  no  small  Encouragement 
to  me  in  forming  this  Expedition."  He  goes  on  then  with  the  arts  of  the 
politician,  displayed  as  in  the  case  of  Wentworth,  to  say,  "  and  if  the  service  in 
which  you  are  engaged  would  permit  you  to  come  yourself  and  take  upon  you 
the  command  of  the  Expedition,  it  would,  I  doubt  not,  be  a  most  happy  event 
for  His  Majesty's  service  and  your  own  honour."  Two  fifty  or  forty  gun 
ships  in  March  were  what  Shirley  asked  for,  or  even  one,  and  with  Warren  to 
follow  with  his  force,  Shirley  was  persuaded  the  place  might  be  taken  in  May, 
or  invested  until  help  from  England  could  be  received  in  June.8  This  letter 
found  Warren  in  trouble,  his  effective  force  diminished  by  the  loss  of  the 

1  B.M.  MSS.,  i>,<)<;7,  <"•  i?2. 

8  Shirley's  care  to  placate  all  who  could  help  him  makes  inexplicable  to  the  writer  his  springing  the  project  on 
the  Aisembly. 

Shirley,  hail  he  to  deal  with  a  touchier  man  than  Peppcrrell,  might  again  have  gratuitously  created  embarrassment  as 
in  the  case  of  Wentworth.  He  placed  himself  in  a  position  to  make  trouble  with  Pepperrell  and  with  Warren.  He 
wrote  to  the  former,  April  22  :  "  I  doubt  not,  Sir,  from  the  extraordinary  conduct  and  vigilance  with  which  you  have 
hitherto  acted  for  His  Majesty's  service,  that  you  will  instantly  give  orders  to  Tyng  and  the  other  cruisers  to  follow  the 
Commodore's  directions  and  orders  to  them,  and  omitting  of  which  may  create  a  most  unhappy  disagreement  and  variance 
between  you  and  Mr.  Warren,  which  may  prove  fatal  to  the  service.  Had  I  not  received  these  precise  orders  from  hit 
Majesty,  which  so  evidently  give  Mr.  Warren  a  general  command  at  sea,  in  all  expeditions  from  hence,  I  should  have 
insisted  upon  my  command  given  you  over  the  sea  forces  (which,  as  it  is,  is  only  suspended  during  Capt.  Wr.rren's  presence, 
and  would  revive  upon  his  going  off)  against  every  person  whatsoever,  and  you  must  be  sensible  that  this  is  not  a  preference 
given  to  him  by  me,  but  only  acting  in  obedience  to  his  Majesty's  orders"  (M.H.S.  i.  p.  19,  Shirley  to  Pepperrell). 

3  Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  N'o.  3817. 

1745  THOSE  OF  HIS  CAPTAINS  141 

Weymouth,  Warren  consulted  his  captains,1  who  unanimously  reported  that 
the  proper  course  for  Warren  was  to  send  the  North  American  ships  to  their 
stations,  the  Mermaid  to  New  York,  and  the  Launceston  to  New  England,  and 
to  forward  Shirley's  letter  to  the  Admiralty  by  an  express ;  and  that,  until  receipt 
of  a  reply,  Warren  should  not  alter  the  ordinary  course  of  proceeding,  but 
remain  cruising  in  the  West  Indies.  The  grounds  for  this  decision  were  that 
the  expedition  had  not  received  his  Majesty's  approbation,  nor  had  they  received 
orders  thereon  from  the  Admiralty  ;  that  taking  the  ships  off  their  stations 
would  greatly  weaken  the  British  West  Indies,  at  a  time  when  a  report  was 
current  that  a  French  squadron  was  expected  shortly  at  Martinique,  "  and  can  be 
of  no  great  service  in  such  an  undertaking" 

This  italicized  expression  of  opinion  is  so  extraordinary  over  the  signatures 
of  the  captains  of  a  naval  squadron,  that  it  must  be  interpreted  in  the  light  of 
Warren's  opinions  that  Louisbourg  was  a  strong  place,  defended  by  a  garrison 
of  regular  troops,  with  no  convenient  anchorage  in  the  vicinity  for  ships  of  war 
and  transports,  that  the  expedition  had  been  hastily  planned,  and  might  be 
abandoned  before  they  arrived,2  so  that  the  opinion  was  held  by  them  that  it 
was  foredoomed  to  failure.  It  has  never  been  the  opinion  of  seamen  that  in 
conjoint  expeditions  their  branch  was  of  lesser  importance.  Warren  gave  orders 
to  the  Launceston  and  Mermaid  to  go  north,  and  was  on  the  point  of  setting  out 
on  a  cruise  when  Capt.  Innis  arrived  in  the  sloop  Hind?  He  had  been 
dispatched  from  England,  early  in  January,  with  orders  for  Warren,  which,  if  he 
were  in  danger  of  capture,  he  was  instructed  to  sink.4 

The  instructions  in  the  usual  sources 5  contain  only  Warren's  commission  as 
Commander-in-Chief,  for  which  he  had  asked  power  to  hold  court-martials  and 
warrants  to  impress  seamen  ;  but  Warren's  letter  speaks  of  definite  orders  to 
proceed  with  Launceston^  Mermaid^  Weymouth^  and  Hastings  to  Boston.  Corbett, 
Secretary  to  the  Admiralty,  in  sending  these  documents6  heartily  wishes  him 
success  in  all  his  operations  against  the  enemy.  The  colonial  Governors  were 
advised  by  Newcastle  that  Warren  had  been  ordered  to  go  northwards  to 
protect  the  colonies  and  fisheries,  and,  "  as  occasion  shall  offer,  attack  and  distress 
the  enemy  in  their  settlements,  and  annoy  their  fisheries  and  commerce."  7  This 
we  may  take  as  the  substance  of  the  orders  which  Warren  received,  for  his 
intention,  when  he  left  Antigua  on  March  13,  was  to  act  in  concert  with 
Clinton  and  Shirley.  He  took  for  his  flagship  the  Superbe,  which  gave  great 
offence  to  Knowles,  her  former  captain,  his  irascible  and  influential  second,  from 
which  Warren  feared  disagreeable  consequences.  He  sailed  for  Boston  with 

1  Feb.  23,  1744/45,  Harbour  Antigua.  2  Warren,  March  10/45,  In  Letters. 

3  March  8.  4  Out  Letters,  486  and  63,  f.  55. 

5  Ad.  Sec.,  Out  Letters,  vol.  486  and  63,  also  the  Newcastle  correspondence  in  the  British  Museum. 

6  Jan.  4.,  Ad.  Sec.,  Out  Letters,  486.  7  R.I.  Doc.  vol.  5,  p.  132,  Shirley,  April  3  ;  C.O.  5/809. 


her,  the  Launceston,  and  Mermaid,  on   March    13,  in  company  with  two  small 
armed  vessels  and  ten  sail  of  merchantmen.1 

If  Warren's  preliminary  views  were  cautious  his  actions  were  eager.  Unless 
his  instructions  were  more  definite  than  those  of  which  records  are  extant,  he 
interpreted  them  in  the  widest  sense,  and  put  into  adequate  action  the  opinions 
he  had  a  few  days  before  expressed  to  his  friend.  "  These  are  considerations 
worthy  of  a  discreet  Officer,  who  should  not,  but  upon  the  best  grounds,  attempt 
to  put  his  Country  to  Expence,  and  probably  himself  to  shame.  When  these 
difficulty's  that  occur  to  such  an  Officer  are  obviated,  by  the  Sound  reasoning 
of  others,  or  by  Self  conviction,  he  will  then  go  on  with  becoming  Vigour  and 
Gallantry,  that  cannot  fail  to  have  a  good  effect  upon  all  that  serve  under  his 
command."  His  fleet  fell  in,  on  April  10,  with  a  schooner  from  Marble- 
head,  "who  Informed  us  that  a  Fleet  of  63  Sail  had  sailed  14  days  on  Sunday 
last  with  5000  Men  for  Canso  under  the  Command  of  '  Generall  Pepperall.' ' 
Warren  took  the  master  on  board  to  act  as  pilot,  as  he  was  unfamiliar  with  the 
waters,8  and  proceeded  direct  to  Canso.  He  sent  word  to  Shirley  of  his  course, 
greatly  to  his  relief,4  for  Warren's  refusal  to  join  the  expedition  had  been 
communicated  by  the  former  only  to  Pepperrell  and  one  or  two  important 
people.  Shirley  had,  however,  pushed  on  with  his  preparations,  amid  difficulties 
and  delays.  At  last  he  saw  the  troops  gathered  together  and  embarked  on  the 
transports,  which  with  the  armed  vessels  lay  in  Nantasket  Road,  whence,  much 
to  the  relief  of  the  wearied  Governor,  the  Massachusetts  contingent  sailed  on 
March  24  for  Canso,  which  had  been  selected  as  their  base. 

Warren  also  gave  instructions  to  Captain  Durell  of  the  Eltham,  which  had 
wintered  in  Boston,  to  act  as  convoy  to  mast  ships  from  Piscataqua.  On  the 
1 6th  of  April  the  ships  he  was  to  protect  had  dropped  down  the  river,  and  the 
next  day  they  all  were  actually  under  way  when  Warren's  orders  arrived,5  so  "  that 
5  minutes  delay  would  have  put  him  out  of  our  reach."  Durell's  account  is, 
"  Just  as  I  was  ready  to  sail  with  the  Mast  Ships  from  New  England  to 
return  Home  I  received  orders  from  Commodore  Warren  to  join  him  off  this 
Harbour  (Canso),  which  commands  were  so  agreeable  that  I  made  all  despatch 

Newcastle's  response  to  the  representations  of  Shirley,  and  others  which  have 
been  noted,  did  not  stop  with  sending  Warren  for  the  defence  of  the  Northern 
Colonies.  When  he  was  informed  of  the  Louisbourg  expedition,  he  sent  out 

1   His  letter  of  March  10.  -  R.O.  Logs,  vol.  820.  3  He  had  been  once  there  in  the  Squirrel. 

4  Shirley  in  a  speech,  April  17,  thus  acknowledged  Warren's  action:  "The  cheerfulness  and  zeal  with  which 
Mr.  Warren  undertakes  this  Service,  It  the  great  Concern  he  had  for  the  success  of  it,  &  the  Prosperity  of  the»e 
Province*  .  .  .  greatly  recommends  him  to  our  respect  k  affections."  ^50  worth  of  live  stock  were  presented  to 
Warren  by  the  Assembly  of  Massachusetts  as  a  token  of  respect  (C.O.  5  809). 

3  M.H.S.  vol.  10,  p.  129.  b  A  Particular  Account. 

1745  ARRIVAL  AT  CANSO  143 

with  the  utmost  dispatch  no  less  than  eight  men-of-war  to  augment  Warren's 
force  before  Louisbourg  and  as  guardships.1 

The  vigour  of  Pitt  had  been  so  often  contrasted  with  the  sloth  of  Newcastle, 
that  it  is  interesting  to  note  that  in  this  matter  Newcastle's  Government  acted 
with  the  greatest  promptness.  Captain  Joshua  Loring  arrived  in  London  with 
four  letters  of  Shirley's2  on  March  16.  The  Admiralty  met  at  once,  ordered  the 
Hector  and  Princess  Mary  to  sea  to  assist  Warren,  and  sent  Loring,  who  had 
only  been  in  London  a  few  hours,  with  the  express  "  at  half-past  midnight "  to 
return  to  Cape  Breton  on  the  Princess  Mary? 

After  a  passage,4  which  the  General  describes  as  "  rough  and  somewhat 
tedious,"  the  Massachusetts  contingent  arrived  at  Canso  on  the  4th  of  April, 
where  the  New  Hampshire  troops  had  landed  on  the  ist.  The  day  after 
landing  Pepperrell  called  together  his  Council  of  War,  which,  even  without  any 
representatives  of  Connecticut,  had  seventeen  members  present.  He  submitted 
to  them  the  instructions  he  had  received,  and  the  army  was  divided  into  four 
sections,  to  land  at  a  selected  point  on  Gabarus  Bay,  three  miles  from  the  town 
and  four  from  the  Grand  Battery.  Canso  was  seen  to  be  a  suitable  place.  A 
blockhouse,  brought  with  them  ready  framed,  was  erected,  armed  with  eight- 
pounders,  and  called  "  Cumberland  "  in  honour  of  that  Royal  Duke.  It  was 
resolved  to  push  on  to  Gabarus  Bay  with  the  first  favourable  wind  and  weather, 
although  the  train  of  artillery  and  part  of  the  troops  had  not  arrived. 

A  projected  attack  on  St.  Peter's,  about  eighteen  miles  across  the  Bay,  was 
deferred,  but  the  expedition  to  cut  off  the  vessels  with  provisions  believed  to  be 
at  Baie  Verte  was  sent  out.  The  ice  on  the  coast  fortunately  prevented  them 
from  pushing  on  to  Louisbourg  without  artillery,  and  with  their  provision 
vessels,  so  uncertain  in  their  arrival,  owing  to  the  prevailing  winds,  that 
Pepperrell  writes  on  the  loth  "that  they  soon  would  be  put  in  greater  danger 
of  famine  than  sword."  Their  two  principal  cruisers,  the  Massachusetts  and  the 
Shirley,  had  provisions  for  only  ten  days,  and,  by  computation,  the  army  only  for 
a  month.  This  was  a  situation  serious  enough  to  justify  Pepperrell's  appeal 
for  help  to  the  Chairman  of  the  War  Committee.  But  the  activity  of  their 
cruisers  brought  some  aid  :  two  vessels  with  rum  and  molasses,  both  valuable 
commodities  to  their  army,  were  captured  and  brought  to  Canso.  Captain 
Tyng  and  the  other  armed  vessels  had  been  sent  to  cruise  off  Louisbourg. 
There  they  had  a  running  fight  with  a  French  frigate,  the  Renommee,  Captain 
Kersaint,  which  left  France  for  Cadiz  on  the  yth  of  February,  where  she  waited 

1  These  vessels  were  the  Lark,  Hector,  Princess  Mary,  Princess  Louisa,   Canterbury,   Chester,  Sundcrland,  and    Wagtr 
(Ad.  Sec.,  Out  Letters,  vol.  63). 

2  5-9-i4th  Jan.,  ist  Feb.  3  C.O.  5/900  ;  Ad.  Sec.,  Out  Letters,  50,  63. 

*  "  Our  men  was  exeding  sick  and  did  vomet  very  much  as  they  would  Dy  the  seas  running  mountaining,"  is  the 
account  of  another  diarist. 


until  the  loth  of  March,  and  after  crossing  the  Atlantic  had  this  encounter  in 
the  fog  and  ice  off  Louisbourg.  She  then  cruised  to  the  westward.  On  the 
Cape  Sable  shore  she  fell  in  with  the  seven  transports  carrying  the  Connecticut 
troops  under  the  convoy  of  the  Connecticut  sloop  and  the  Tartar  belonging  to 
Rhode  Island.  The  ever-active  Shirley  had  suggested  that  the  Tartar  should 
make  the  voyage  with  the  Connecticut  forces  as  a  safeguard.  It  was  fortunate 
that  his  proposal  was  accepted,  for  Fones,  her  captain,  was  a  bold  and  skilful 
sailor.  He  led  Kersaint  to  chase  him  away  from  the  little  fleet,  which  reached 
Canso  in  safety,  and  having  accomplished  this,  the  Tartar  escaped  from  the 
frigate  after  nightfall.1  Kersaint  then  proceeded  to  the  Baie  des  Castors  in 
Acadia,  and  after  remaining  there  attempted  to  make  Louisbourg,  but  was 
driven  off  by  contrary  winds,  and  then  returned  to  Brest  on  June  19* 

The  situation  was  changed  on  the  22nd  by  the  arrival  of  the  Eltham> 
followed  the  next  day  by  Warren  and  his  other  ships.  No  time  was  lost  in 
visits  or  exchange  of  courtesies  between  the  Commanders.  Letters  passed 
between  them,  and  Warren  sailed  at  once  to  blockade  Louisbourg.  The 
Connecticut  contingent  reached  Canso  on  the  25th.  With  the  forces  thus 
complete,  the  first  part  of  the  movement  had  been  carried  through  with 
remarkable  celerity.  They  were  in  possession  of  their  base  ;  their  armed  vessels 
were  off  Louisbourg  ;  the  provincials  were  on  the  eve  of  putting  to  the  test  the 
value  of  their  preparations  and  the  steadfastness  and  skill  of  the  officers  and  men. 



NEWPORT,  ON  RHODE  ISLAND,  Xber  20,  1745. 

Sir :  The  conduct  of  this  colony  relating  to  the  Cape  Breton  expedition  having 
been,  as  your  letters  advise,  very  unjustly  misrepresented  at  home,  with  a  view  to  prejudice 
the  ministry  against  us,  the  General  Assembly  have  directed  that  a  true  account  thereof 
should  be  transmitted  to  you,  which,  we  doubt  not,  will  enable  you  fully  to  vindicate  our 
colony,  which  hath  always  distinguished  itself  by  joining  with  readiness  and  zeal  in  all 
expeditions  ordered  by  the  crown. 

1  R.I.  Rcc.  vol.  5,  p.  138  and  155. 

2  A.M.B.4  vol.  56,  p.  228,  and  vol.  57,  p.  291,  contain  the  precis  of  this  voyage,  and  that  of  De  Salvert's  squadron, 
which  returned   to  Brest  on  the  12th  of  October.     The  latter  took  some  prizes,  among  them  the  Prince  of  Orange,  from 
whom  they  learned  of  the  fall  of  Louisbourg,  and  the  large  fleet  on  the  coast  of  Isle  Royale.      De  Salvert  attempted  to  meet 
the  vessels  of  the  India  Company,  but  in  bad  weather  and  fog  missed  them  all.      He  made  for  Newfoundland  on  his  return 
to  France,  in  which  two  of  his  ships  were  dismasted.     The  documents  themselves  are  wanting,  so  that  this  is  the  little 
information  which  can  be  given  of  the  French  expedition  to  relieve  Louisbourg.     From  a  captured  letter  we  learn  that 
Du  Vivier  had  come  on  De  Salvert's  squadron,  and  had  been  placed  by  him  in  command  (although  he  had  never  been  at  lea) 
of  the  frigate  Le  Parfait.      He  took   The  Two  Friends,  which  was  again  recaptured  off  Louisbourg  (Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters, 
No.  2655). 


The  reduction  of  Louisbourg,  we  always  thought,  would  be  of  very  great  importance, 
as  well  to  the  trade  and  commerce  of  Great  Britain,  as  of  the  northern  plantations,  and 
therefore  expected  and  hoped  it  would  be  undertaken  at  home  in  the  course  of  the  war ; 
but  we  judged  the  attempt  to  reduce  that  prodigiously  strong  town,  regularly  fortified, 
and  furnished  with  a  garrison  of  regular  forces,  to  be  much  too  hazardous,  as  well  as  too 
expensive  for  New  England,  as  not  having  one  officer  of  experience  or  even  an  engineer, 
and  the  people  being  entirely  ignorant  in  the  art  of  encamping  and  besieging  towns,  and 
were  therefore  greatly  surprised  at  hearing  that  the  Province  of  the  Massachusetts  had 
voted  to  make  said  attempt. 

At  first,  while  it  was  supposed  that  Governor  Shirley  had  secret  instructions  to  raise 
men,  and  an  assurance  of  a  sufficient  addition  of  sea  and  land  forces  from  Great  Britain, 
our  people  were  zealous  in  the  affair  ;  but  when  it  was  known  that  he  had  no  orders  at 
all,  not  so  much  as  a  discretionary  power  to  stop  some  of  His  Majesty's  ships  then  at 
Boston,  a  thing  of  the  last  importance  to  the  blocking  up  the  harbour  of  Louisbourg,  no 
assurance  that  the  ministry  would  approve  of  the  undertaking,  or  make  any  provision  to 
support  it,  or  that  the  state  of  affairs  in  Europe  would  permit  the  sending  such  a  force 
from  Great  Britain,  as  seemed  necessary,  to  render  the  expedition  successful,  surely,  'tis  no 
wonder  that  our  zeal  abated,  and  that  we  were  not  very  forward  to  precipitate  an  attempt, 
in  which  a  failure  must  needs  have  been  a  fatal  consequence,  as  it  would  have  exposed 
the  weakness  of  the  northern  plantations,  and  disabled  them  from  assisting,  if  the 
crown  should  think  fit  to  order  such  an  expedition  ;  that  the  Massachusetts  themselves 
were  very  doubtful  of  success,  cannot  be  denied,  for  the  undertaking  of  the  expedition  was 
carried  but  by  one  single  voice,  in  their  house  of  representatives. 

.  .  .  But  notwithstanding  all  this,  the  General  Assembly  voted  to  send  our  colony  sloop 
well  manned,  permitted  the  Governor  of  Boston  to  endeavour  to  raise  men  in  the  pay  of 
the  Province,  and  voted  an  additional  bounty  of  forty  shillings  a  man  to  induce  them  to 
list,  but  to  no  effect. 

On  further  application  to  us  in  March  last,  the  General  Assembly  voted  to  raise 
three  companies  of  fifty  men  each,  exclusive  of  officers  ;  and  offered  a  large  pay,  and 
a  higher  bounty  than  the  Province  of  Massachusetts  had  given  ;  but  it  being  found 
impracticable  to  fill  the  companies  in  season,  the  then  Governor,  after  we  have  been  at  a 
considerable  expense,  ordered  the  men  that  were  raised  to  be  disbanded.  However,  our 
colony's  sloop,  mounting  fourteen  carriage  and  twelve  swivel  guns,  well  fitted  and  manned, 
convoyed  the  Connecticut  forces,  and  proved  of  singular  service,  by  preventing  their  entire 
ruin  from  a  French  two-and-thirty  gun  ship  ;  and  afterwards  in  the  Gut  of  Canso,  by 
repelling,  in  conjunction  with  two  other  cruisers,  a  large  body  of  French  and  Indians,  who 
were  going  to  the  relief  of  Louisbourg. 

...  In  May,  we  had  advice  that  the  ministry  approved  of  the  expedition,  and  that 
Commodore  Warren  was  arrived  off  Louisbourg  with  a  squadron  of  His  Majesty's  ships. 
The  General  Assembly  did  then  renew  their  vote  to  raise  three  companies  ;  and  that  it 
might  be  effectual,  increased  the  bounty,  and  raised  the  pay  to  ^10  per  month  a  man, 
double  of  what  the  Massachusetts  allowed  theirs.  But  to  complete  said  companies  (we) 
were  notwithstanding  obliged  to  order  that  men  should  be  impressed  into  the  service,  as 
several  actually  were  ;  a  thing  not  done  by  order  of  Assembly  in  any  other  part  of  New 
England,  and  scarce  ever  practised  here  before  ;  and  on  notice  that  seamen  were  wanted  to 



man  the  ship  Vigilant^  voted  to  raise  two  hundred,  allowing  a  bounty  of  ^17  to  a  man. 
But  such  was  the  scarcity  of  men,  that  though  the  bounty  was  so  large,  and  the  most 
effectual  means  used  (for  we  had  again  recourse  to  impressing,  and  allowed  said  bounty 
even  to  the  impressed  men),  that  we  could  raise  only  about  seventy.  The  good  news  of 
the  surrender  of  Louisbourg  had  reached  Boston  before  our  transports  sailed  from  thence, 
having  lain  there  some  days  for  convoy  ;  vet  they  proceeded  (on)  the  voyage,  and  are  now 
in  garrison  ;  and  we  have  lately  sent  a  vessel  to  Louisbourg,  with  clothing  and  provisions 
sufficient  for  their  support  till  late  in  the  spring. 

This  is  the  assistance  we  have  given,  which  was  really  the  utmost  we  were  able  to 
give,  the  colony  having  never  exerted  itself  with  more  zeal  and  vigour  on  any  occasion  ; 
and  it  ought  to  be  observed,  that  no  other  of  the  neighbouring  governments,  besides 
Connecticut  and  New  Hampshire,  could  be  induced,  at  the  first,  to  give  any  assistance  at 
all  ;  nor  afterwards,  of  all  of  them  together,  to  give  so  much  and  such  effectual  assistance, 
as  this  little  colony  cheerfully  afforded,  at  the  hazard  of  leaving  our  sea  coast  unguarded, 
and  our  navigation  exposed  to  the  enemy's  privateers,  from  the  beginning  of  April  to  the 
latter  end  of  October,  during  which  time  our  colony's  sloop  was  in  the  service.1 

1   Rhode  Island  Colonial  Records,  vol.  <;,  pp.  14.5-147. 


PEPPERRELL  had  many  causes  for  anxiety.  His  stores  were  inadequate,  and 
many  of  the  small  arms  were  in  bad  order.  Rioting  had  taken  place  at  Canso, 
so  he  had  to  find,  and  did  find,  that  middle  way  between  a  severity  to  which  his 
levies  would  not  submit,  and  a  laxity  perilous  to  the  success  of  the  expedition. 
The  detachment  which  was  sent  against  St.  Peter's  had  acted  without  dash, 
"  which  party  returned  without  success,  not  having  carefully  conformed  to  their 
orders,  for  landing  in  whale  boats  by  night,  and  finding  there  several  vessels,  which 
though  of  no  force,  yet  well  manned  for  trade,  and  a  number  of  Indians  being 
alarmed  ;  their  whole  force  appeared  so  considerable,  that  our  party  did  not 
think  it  safe  to  land."  l 

These  were  indications  that  neither  his  materials  nor  his  men  would  stand 
much  strain  ;  and  yet  his  officers  had  urged  him  to  push  on  to  Louisbourg 
without  waiting  for  the  transports  laden  with  his  artillery.  The  ice  on  the  Cape 
Breton  coast  made  impossible  this  advance.  The  vessels  with  this  part  of  his 
armament  had  arrived  before  the  sea  cleared.  As  soon  as  navigation  to  the  east- 
ward became  practicable,  the  movement  on  Louisbourg  began.  The  expedition 
started  from  Canso  early  on  the  morning  of  the  29th  of  April.  That  day,  the  most 
warm  and  pleasant  since  their  arrival  at  Canso,  opened  with  light  winds,  which, 
after  a  calm,  rose  again  to  a  gentle  breeze  from  the  north-west.  It,  being  a  fair 
wind,  enabled  the  fleet  of  about  one  hundred  vessels  to  reach  along  the  coast  to 
:heir  appointed  position  in  Gabarus  Bay.  Here,  after  passing  Warren's  cruising 
jhips,  they  arrived  in  the  morning  of  Tuesday  the  thirtieth.2 

Du  Chambon  had  been  in  doubt  as  to  what  was  going  on,  or  perhaps  was 
in  that  frame  of  mind  which  tries  not  to  see  indications  of  a  crisis  to  which  he 
:elt  himself  unequal.  The  vessels  in  the  offing,  and  reports  that  there  was 
unusual  activity  at  Canso,  were  disquieting.  But  the  former,  it  was  hoped, 

1  Pepperrell  to  Shirley,  Massachusetts  Historical  Society  vol.  i,  p.  24. 

2  The  large  map  of  this  siege  can   be  used  with  great  advantage   in  following  its  course.     Its  comparison  with 
vritten  accounts  shows  its  substantial  accuracy. 

It  is  necessary  to  collate  the  letters  which  passed  between  the  officers  and  the  minutes  of  the  Council  of  War.  The 
atter  and  some  of  the  letters  are  in  Massachusetts  Historical  Society,  sixth  series,  vol.  10.  Other  letters  are  in  vol.  i  of 
ts  first  series.  These  are  referred  to  as  vol.  i  and  vol.  10. 



might  be  the  succour  from  home  for  which  they  had  asked  ;  the  latter  the 
carrying  out  of  English  plans  for  the  fortification  of  Canso,  of  which  they  had 
knowledge.  He  ordered  Benoit  in  command  at  Port  Toulouse  (St.  Peter's)  to 
ascertain  what  was  going  on.  The  latter  sent  out  a  civilian,  an  Indian,  and  a 
soldier,  who  captured  four  of  the  enemy.  These  in  turn  overpowered  their 
captors,  and  brought  the  Frenchmen  in  as  prisoners,  the  Indian  having  escaped.1 

The  miscarriage  of  this  scout  left  Du  Chambon  still  uncertain.  Nor  could 
the  people  of  Louisbourg  tell  the  nationalities  of  the  combatants,  in  seeing  from 
the  land  the  running  fight  between  the  Renommte  and  the  provincial  cruisers. 
There  was  little  room  left  for  doubt  when  a  vessel  from  St.  Jean  de  Luz  arrived 
safely,  and  reported  that  on  the  25th  she  had  exchanged  three  broadsides  with 
the  enemy.  Whatever  uncertainty  still  existed  in  their  minds  was  dispelled  by 
the  capture  of  three  coasting  boats.2 

Du  Chambon,  thus  driven  from  the  position  that  there  was  no  cause  for 
alarm,  in  conjunction  with  Bigot,  sent  word  to  France  of  their  condition.8  The 
Societt  slipped  successfully  through  the  blockade,  and  bore  to  the  court  their 
evil  tidings,  which  falsified  the  optimistic  previsions  of  Maurepas.  The  pre- 
parations for  defence  which  Du  Chambon  had  made  in  the  autumn  seem  to  have 
been  held  in  abeyance  by  the  mutiny  of  the  garrison.  Officials,  officers,  and 
townspeople  feared  the  purpose  of  the  troops  was  to  deliver  the  place  without 
striking  a  blow,  so  its  condition  was  one  of  suspended  animation.  The  conduct 
of  the  soldiery  during  the  winter  had  been  orderly.  When  the  crisis  came  it 
was  spirited.  Du  Chambon  and  Bigot  appealed  to  their  patriotism,  and  promised, 
in  the  name  of  the  King,  a  pardon  for  their  past  offences.  The  troops  responded 
to  their  appeal,  returned  to  their  duty,  and  behaved  well  during  the  siege.4 

Although  arrangements  had  been  made  for  calling  in  the  people  of  the 
outlying  settlement  of  Baleine  and  Lorambec,  who  joined  the  townspeople  in  a 
militia  for  its  defence,  there  seems  to  have  been  no  settled  plan  of  action  in  event 
of  these  threatening  appearances  proving  to  be  the  prelude  of  an  attack. 

Du  Chambon  was  Governor  by  accident.  Neither  Chateaugue,  appointed 
to  succeed  Du  Quesnel,  nor  De  Salvert,  his  substitute,  had  been  able  to  reach 
Louisbourg.  Du  Chambon  was  inexperienced.  Neither  he  nor  any  of  the 
officers  of  the  troops  had  even  been  in  action,  so  that  this  siege  is  the  culminating 
event  of  that  warfare  of  amateurs  which  began  at  Canso  a  year  earlier.  The  New 
Englanders  at  least  made  plans  ;  Du  Chambon  seems  to  have  been  incapable  of 

1   Mais.  Hist.  Soc.  vol.  i,  p.  23  ;  Que.  Hist.  Mass.  vol.  3,  p.  238.         2  One  was  a  large  sloop  loaded  with  game. 

3  Bigot  does  not  seem  to  have  been  in  doubt. 

4  Bigot  says  none  deserted.     This  is  almost  literally  true,  there  were  only  two  desertions.     The  promise  of  pardon 
was  repudiated  after  the  return  of  the  garrison  to  France.     Certain  of  the  soldiers  were  executed.     The  alleged  ringleader 
had  died  in  prison.     Bigot  made  a  statement  in  favour  of  the  soldiers,  which  the  court-martial  did  not  admit  (Colonies,  B, 
vol.   82).      Bigot,  however,  wrote  to  the  Minister,  Oct.  9,  1745,  taking  a  different  view.      He  said,  it  is  of  the  utmost 
importance  to  the  colonies  that  an  example  be  made  ("^u'on  fassc  un  cxemple  d'une  pareille  sedition  "). 

1745  THE  LANDING  149 

foresight.  His  disastrous  lack  of  judgment  was  shown  in  his  dealing  with  the 
force  of  Marin.  This  officer  had  been  sent  with  a  strong  detachment  from 
Quebec  for  a  winter  journey  to  Acadia,  there  to  act  against  Annapolis  or  to  help 
Louisbourg.  It  left  on  January  15.  Du  Chambon  informed  Marin  in  April 
that  it  was  unnecessary  for  him  to  come  to  Louisbourg.  He  consequently 
attacked  Annapolis.  It  was  not  until  the  provincial  artillery  had  begun  to  fire 
on  the  town,  May  5,  that  Du  Chambon  attempted  to  avail  himself  of  this 
reinforcement.  At  this  late  day,  Du  Chambon  sent  a  messenger  on  the  long 
journey  to  Annapolis.  Marin  set  out,  penetrated  to  Isle  Royale,  after  an 
encounter  with  provincial  cruisers  in  the  Gut  of  Canso,  and  arrived  too  late  to 
of  any  help.1 

It  was  not  until  the  French  saw  from  the  ramparts  on  the  morning  of  the 
}oth  a  disembarkation  begun,  its  boats  moving  towards  two  points,  one  near,  the 
)ther  much  more  to  the  westward  of  Flat  Point,  that  the  question  of  resistance 
was  raised.     Two  civilians  were  the  spokesmen  of  those  who  desired  action. 
One  was  the  retired  officer  of  the  Regiment  de  Richelieu,  de  la  Boularderie,  who, 
on  hearing  of  the  cruisers  off  the  port,  had  come  in  an  open  boat  from  his  estate 
at  Petit  Bras  d'Or.     Morpain,  now  port  captain,  but  at  the  beginning  of  the 
century  a  privateer  of  Port  Royale,  was  the  other. 

De  la  Boularderie  said  that,  under  cover  of  the  woods,  a  force  could  advance 
within  half  a  pistol-shot  of  the  beach  ;  that  half  of  the  garrison  should  be  sent  out 
to  fall  on  the  enemy,  who  would  be  in  that  confusion  which  always  attends 
landings  ;  that  they  would  be  chilled  from  exposure,  and  that  they  were,  moreover, 
but  poor  creatures  ("  miserables  ").  Morpain  recounted  his  exploits  in  1707  and 
appealed  to  Du  Chambon  to  give  him  leave  to  go  out  with  those  of  the  towns- 
people who  were  willing.  Du  Chambon,  who  had  taken  the  view  that  he  had  no 
men  to  spare,  at  last  gave  way.  Fifty  civilian  volunteers  and  twenty-four 
soldiers,  the  latter  under  Mesillac  Du  Chambon,  the  Governor's  son,  the 
youngest  officer  of  the  garrison,  set  forth  from  the  town  with  vague  instructions 
and  under  uncertain  command. 

When  they  were  about  half-way  across  the  marsh,  Boularderie  thought 
the  attempt  was  hopeless,  as  fifteen  hundred  men  had  landed  and  were  taking 
regular  formation.  Morpain  was  for  keeping  on.  Marching  in  solid  formation, 
they  came  under  the  fire  of  the  ships,2  and  alarmed  the  landed  troops.  The 
French  had  reached  a  depression  when  the  enemy  closed  in  on  them.  Morpain, 
heedless  of  De  la  Boularderie's  expostulations,  withdrew  all  the  men  except 
twelve  soldiers.  These  momentarily  withstood  the  provincial  attack  made  in 

1  The  first  news  they  received  in  Quebec  of  the  fall  of  Louisbourg  was  from  the  younger  Marin,  who  was  dispatched 
by  his  father  with  this  disappointing  intelligence  (MSS.  Que.  vol.  3,  p.  217). 

2  "  We  were  covered  in  our  landing  by  Fletcher,  Bush,  and  Saunders,  who  fired  their  cannon  smartly  on  the  enemy  " 
(Pepperrell's  Journal). 

1 5o       DIVIDED  COUNSELS  AMONG  THE  FRENCH       1745 

overwhelming  force.  De  la  Boularderie  was  twice  wounded  and  surrendered, 
five  of  the  soldiers  were  wounded,  but  escaped,  and  seven  were  killed.  Morpain 
was  wounded,  but  watched  over  by  a  faithful  negro  slave,  was  later  brought 
into  the  town.1  The  losses  were  trifling  :  only  two  or  three  provincials 
wounded,  and  on  the  French  side  sixteen  or  seventeen  killed  and  wounded. 
From  the  English  accounts  there  does  not  appear  to  have  been  the  delay  of 
which  the  French  speak,  nor  the  number  of  men  landed  at  the  time  the 
attempt  at  a  repulse  was  made. 

The  provincial  troops,  after  dispersing  this  tardy  and  ill-led  expedition, 
were  emboldened  to  advance  freely.  In  a  few  hours  irregular  groups  of  them 
emerged  from  the  woods  overlooking  the  town,  in  which  their  exultant  cheering 
could  be  heard.  Order  was  maintained  among  some  others,  for  regular  squads 
advanced  through  the  woods,  and  came  into  the  open  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  Grand  Battery. 

Two  thousand  were  landed  before  nightfall,  and  the  work  of  encamping 
was  begun.  The  site  of  the  camp  was  on  either  side  of  a  small  brook  which 
runs  into  Gabarus  Bay,  between  Flat  Point  and  the  boggy  plain  which 
stretches  to  the  outworks  of  the  fortress.  The  land  is  dry,  and  the  wisdom 
of  Pepperrell's  officers  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  Amherst's  engineers  in  1758 
found  no  better  place  for  the  encampment  of  a  much  larger  force.2 

While  morning  of  this  day  brought  to  Du  Chambon  these  perplexities, 
the  evening  brought  another,  of  no  less  moment.  This  was  the  report  of 
Chassin  de  Thierry,  Captain  in  command  of  the  Grand  Battery,  that,  in  his 
opinion,  the  post  was  not  tenable.  He  proposed  to  blow  it  up,  as  it  would 
be  of  great  value  to  the  enemy,  and  spike  the  cannon.  A  council  of  war  was 
held,  and  the  opinion  of  the  engineer,  Verrier,  confirmed  Thierry's  statement. 
At  its  best,  the  fort  was  commanded  by  higher  ground  ;  in  its  present  state, 
difficult  to  defend,  for  on  the  landward  side  its  defences  had  been  levelled 
preparatory  to  their  repair.  The  council  without  a  dissenting  voice  voted 
for  its  abandonment,  and,  with  the  exception  of  Verrier,  thought  that  it  should 
be  blown  up.  His  protests  against  the  destruction  of  the  work  were  so  vigorous 
that  the  point  was  given  up,  and  Thierry  was  ordered  to  spike  the  guns  and 
withdraw  his  men  and  as  many  provisions  and  warlike  stores  as  he  could  bring 
away.  This  he  did  with  such  haste  that  the  guns  were  not  properly  spiked, 
and  the  garrison  was  back  in  the  town  about  midnight.  A  detachment  had 
to  be  sent  to  complete  the  evacuation.  Other  detachments,  on  the  ist  and  2nd 

1  Morpain  set  free  the  man  as  a  reward.     Boularderie  was  taken  to  Boston,  made  a  good  impression  on  its  authorities 
and  people,  took  charge  of  the  other  prisoners,  and  left  for  France  with  a  certificate  that  he  had   behaved   like  a   gentle- 
man, and  was  of  great   service  to  the  pmoncrs.     This  was  signed   and  sealed   on   September  2  by  various  distinguished 
gentlemen,  among  whom  were  members  of  Council  and  B.  Pemberton,  its  Secretary  (C11,  Canada,  vol.  87). 

2  The  earthworks  which  enclosed  the  latter  camp  are  still  quite  visible. 


of  May,  sunk  at  their  moorings  the  vessels  near  the  town,  those  at  the  head 
of  the  harbour,  and  brought  away  from  the  lighthouse  its  supply  of  oil.  A 
third  force,  a  mixed  detachment  of  French  and  Swiss,  protected  those  who 
demolished  the  houses  between  the  Dauphin  Gate  and  the  Barachois,  and 
while  at  this  work  beat  off  an  attack. 

The  disembarkation  was  completed  on  the  ist,  but  for  a  fortnight  the 
troops,  landing  stores  and  artillery  on  an  exposed  shore  in  cold  and  foggy 
weather,  and  in  bringing  the  artillery  over  rocks,  through  woods  and  bogs, 
suffered  the  severest  hardships.  They  worked  so  effectively  that,  on  the 
fifth  day  after  the  descent,  a  battery  was  in  position  opposite  the  citadel  at 
a  distance  of  1550  yards,  and  then  opened  fire  on  the  town. 

On  the  night  of  the  ist  a  strong  detachment  marched  through  the 
woods  and  destroyed  the  houses  at  the  head  of  the  harbour.  The  next 
morning,  William  Vaughan,  returning  from  this  expedition,  reconnoitred  the 
silent  Grand  Battery,  and,  preceded  by  an  Indian,  entered  its  court  and  found 
it  deserted,  a  condition  which  scarcely  justifies  the  opening  of  his  letter  to 
Pepperrell  : 

"May  it  pleasure  your  Honour,  to  be  informed  yt  with  ye  grace  of  God  and  ye 
courage  of  about  thirteen  men  I  entred  this  place  about  nine  a  clock  and  am  waiting 
here  for  a  reinforcemen1  and  flag." l 

Another  account  speaks  of  this  event  from  a  different  standpoint,  and 
incidentally  illustrates  the  conditions  of  the  troops  in  these  early  days. 

"  This  Morning  we  had  an  alarm  in  the  Camp  suposing  there  was  a  Salley  from  the 
town  against  us  We  Ran  to  meet  them  but  found  ourselves  Mistaken  :  I  had  a  Great 
Mind  to  se  the  Grand  Battery  So  with  five  other  of  our  Company  I  went  towards  it 
and  as  I  was  a  Going  about  Thirty  more  fell  in  with  us ;  we  Came  in  ye  Back  of  a  hil 
within  Long  Muskitt  Shot  and  fired  att  ye  sd  fort  &  finding  no  Resistance  I  was  Minded 
to  Go  &  Did  with  about  a  Duzen  men  setting  a  Card  to  ye  Norward  Should  We  Be 
asolted  who  Espied  two  french  men  whom  we  Imeadately  Took  Priseners  with  two 
women  &  a  Child  then  we  went  in  after  some  others  to  ye  sd  Grand  fort  &  found  itt 
Desarted." 2 

Before  Vaughan  was  reinforced,  he  beat  off  four  boat-loads  of  men,  covered 
by  the  fire  of  the  town  and  island  batteries.  Colonel  Bradstreet  was  sent  with 
a  reinforcement,  and  began  at  once  getting  the  guns  into  order,  in  which  he 
was  so  successful  that  the  next  day,  the  3rd  of  May,  at  noon,  one  gun  had 
fired  on  the  town,  and  a  second  was  in  service  at  seven  the  same  evening. 
This,  Colonel  Waldo,  who  had  taken  over  the  command,  reports  with  satisfac- 

1  Vol.  10,  p.  138. 
2  Gidding's  Journal,  Essex  Inst.  vol.  48.     The  "  some  others  "  I  take  to  be  the  men  under  Vaughan. 

1 52         WALDO  GIVEN  COMMAND  OF  GARRISON       1745 

tion,  and  enlivens  his  letter  to  the  General  by   a  jest  in    the  manner   of  the 
times  over  the  poor  quality  of  the  bombs  fired  at  them  by  the  French. 

His  regiment  continued  to  garrison  this  fort,  and  the  artillery  officers 
soon  had  enough  cannon  drilled  and  in  service  against  the  town  to  amply 
justify,  by  the  effects  of  their  fire,  the  view  of  the  importance  of  this  position 
held  by  the  planners  of  the  expedition.  Waldo  made  daily  reports  to  Pepperrell 
while  he  was  at  the  Grand  Battery,  in  which  the  most  striking  feature  was 
the  constant  clamour  for  rum.  Day  after  day  it  was  asked  for,  and  it  was 
not  quantity  alone,  for  in  one  letter  they  beg  for  French  rather  than  the 
home-made  drink.  The  quantity  required  apparently  seemed  excessive  to  the 
Commissariat,  for  Waldo  writes  : 

"The  short  supply  of  rum,  the  severall  Captains  tell  me,  is  of  prejudice  to  the  people. 
Should  one  from  the  dead  tell  the  soldiery  anything,  in  the  prejudice  of  it,  'twould  have 
no  weight."  l 

In  warlike  stores  the  supply  was  short.  Waldo  was  constantly  on  the 
point  of  being  left  without  powder,  and  feared  at  one  time  that  their  battery 
would  have  to  be  silent,  which  he  felt  sure  would  lead  to  a  revival  of  the 
drooping  spirits  of  the  besieged,  and  possibly  to  an  attempt  to  retake  it.2  He 
reported  that  its  cannon  were  twenty-eight  of  42  pounds  and  two  of  18  pounds, 
"  as  good  pieces  as  we  could  desire.  I  fear  the  only  badd  quality  in  them  will 
be  in  the  opinion  of  our  principalls  that  they  devour  too  much  powder."  He 
wrote  to  Pepperrell  that  his  men  were  poor,  and  "  we  are  in  great  want  of 
good  gunners  that  have  a  disposition  to  be  sober  in  the  daytime  "  ;  and  again, 
that  he  would  answer  for  the  flag  provided  he  had  men  and  good  officers. 
"  Three  fourths  of  the  men  which  you  apprehend  .  .  .  are  here  are  partly 
employed  in  speculation  on  the  neighbouring  hills  and  partly  employed  in 
ravaging  the  country." 

While  the  excessively  arduous  work  of  establishing  batteries  and  serving 
them  was  going  on,  it  is  evident  from  the  journals  of  individuals,  that  the  troops 
were  not  all  engaged  in  this  legitimate  work,  but  parties  of  them  went  out  on 
expeditions,  the  purpose  of  which  was  plunder  and  destruction  of  property,  as 
well  as  taking  prisoners.  It  is  quite  evident  from  the  numbers  taken,  either  that, 
owing  to  the  short  notice  given  by  signals,  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  outports 
did  not  come  in,  or  that  people  of  the  town  passed  to  and  from  their  properties 
on  the  shores  of  the  harbour.  The  scanty  records  show  that  both  the  dwellers 
in  the  environs,  and  those  who  left  the  town,  fell  into  the  hands  of  these  roving 
bands,  who  apparently  had  at  best  no  other  commission  than  the  permission  of 

1  Vol.  10,  p.  158. 

8  One  diarist  notes  that  a  sermon  was  preached  on  the  morning  of  the  5th  in  the  chapel  of  the  Grand  Battery  from 
the  text  :   "Enter  into  his  gates  with  thanksgiving,  and  into  his  courts  with  praise." 


their  regimental  officers.  The  records  of  one  diarist1  begin  on  the  day  of 
landing  with  the  capture  of  five  cows,  from  which,  as  only  three  of  them  were 
killed,  follows  in  natural  sequence,  that  he  breakfasted  the  next  morning  on 
milk.  Horses  and  cattle  were  both  taken  and  killed  ;  houses  were  plundered. 
Forty  -  eight  hours  later  he  says  again,  that  "  our  men  keep  continually 
plundering,"  and  on  the  first  Sunday  they  were  on  shore,  May  5,  he  records 
that  one  of  the  General's  men  killed  himself  with  drink  in  a  house  he  was 
looting.  The  same  day  two  unhappy  Frenchmen,  clearly  non-combatants,  for 
they  were  carrying  their  goods  from  the  city  to  a  hiding-place  in  the  woods, 
were  killed  by  a  party  numbering  a  score.  Their  boat-loads  of  property  and 
two  bags  of  gold  became  a  richer  booty  to  a  more  unscrupulous  squad 
than  was  usual.  Another  writer,  in  recounting  the  events  of  May  2,  says,  "  and 
after  that  (we)  took  the  grand  Batry  and  several  cows  and  horses  and  sum  plunder 
viz.  sum  pots  sum  kitles  sum  grid  irons  sum  one  thing  and  sum  another."  2  The 
value  of  the  spoils  impressed  the  enemy.  Gibson  later  describes  handsome  farms 
on  the  Mire.  It  is  said  that  in  one  house,  burned  at  St.  Peter's,  there  were 
1000  bushels  of  wheat,3  and  more  than  once  the  good  looks  of  the  women 
captured  are  mentioned,  "  4  of  which  is  hansom  ladeys," 4  but  it  was  not 
always  so  easy  as  in  these  instances. 
Friday  10,  Gibson's  Journal  : 

"  A  small  scout  of  twenty-five  men  got  to  the  north-east  harbour.  I  and  four  more 
being  in  a  house  upon  plunder,  140  French  and  Indians  came  down  upon  us  first,  and  fired 
a  volley,  with  a  great  noise.  Two  jumped  out  of  the  window  and  were  shot  dead.  With 
great  difficulty  the  other  two  and  myself  got  safe  to  the  grand  battery.  They  afterwards 
killed  nineteen  of  the  remaining  twenty."  5 

The  authorities  were  seriously  concerned  about  this  plundering.  Waldo 
wrote  to  Pepperrell  soon  after  he  went  to  the  Grand  Battery  : 

"I  fear  yr  Honr  will  be  under  necessity  of  appointing  a  moroding  officer  with  ye 
powers,  &  without  it,  should  an  obstinate  siege  be  our  portion,  a  train  of  ill  consequence 
must  ensue  which  I  doubt  not  you'll  be  pleased  to  consider  of." 

Pepperrell  was  evidently  determined  to  arrange  some  means  of  dealing  with 
the  matter,  for  he  wrote  to  Warren  the  same  day  : 

"  The  unaccountable  irregular  behaviour  of  these  fellows  (the  masters  of  transports)  ot 
some  moroders  is  the  greatest  fatigue  I  meet  with ;  hope  to  reduce  them  to  a  better 
discipline  soon." 

War  is  a  cruel  thing  even  with  a  disciplined  army  ;  with  irregular  troops  it 

1  Bradstreet.  2  Giddings,  p.  6.  3  From  French  sources  there  is  no  evidence  of  such  abundance. 

4  Vol.  10,  p.  155. 

5  The  next  day  forty  prisoners  were  taken  by  the  force  which  set  out  to  bury  the  dead.     It  made  a  clean  sweep  of 
the  place,  chapel,  fish  stages,  and  a  hundred  fishing-boats. 


is  a  scourge  to  the  people  of  the  invaded  territory.  Neither  Pepperrell's  corre- 
spondence, nor  the  journal  of  the  Council  of  War,  shows  what  measures  were 
taken,  but  the  later  entries  of  the  diarists  narrate  no  such  barbarities  on  the  part 
of  the  provincials  as  the  records  of  the  earliest  days.1 

Having  abandoned  a  surprise  on  the  town,  in  the  securing  of  the  Grand 
Battery,  and  the  encampment  of  the  army,  Pepperrell  had  carried  out  in  the 
main  the  instructions  of  Shirley.  He  was  left,  supported  by  his  Council,  to 
devise  further  action  ;  except  in  one  respect,  the  destruction  of  all  French 
property.  This  work  was  steadily  prosecuted,  until  in  three  or  four  weeks, 
either  by  land  expeditions  or  the  forces  of  Warren,  no  hamlet  or  settlement  on 
the  island  was  left  unravaged. 

The  question  of  sending  a  summons  to  Du  Chambon  was  the  first  considered 
by  the  Council  on  the  3rd.  The  matter  was  under  consideration  intermittently 
until  the  yth,  when  it  was  decided  on.  Some  of  the  seniors,  among  them 
Waldo,  held  that  Du  Chambon  would  be  justified  in  hanging  the  bearer  of  their 
message,  "  unless  we  had  made  a  more  formidable  genl.  appearance  than  we 
have  yet  been  able  to  make." 

The  Council  took  up  the  erection  of  batteries.  Beginning  at  the  Green 
Hill,  these  were  pushed  forward  with  a  celerity  which  was  possible  only  among  a 
force  made  up  of  men,  some  with  the  dexterity  of  seafarers,  others  with  that  of 
woodsmen  accustomed  to  handle  mast  timber  from  the  stump  in  the  forests  of 
New  Hampshire  to  its  berth  in  the  vessel.  By  the  2Oth,  a  fifth  battery, 
sweeping  across  the  little  Barachois,  completed  the  attack  against  the  fortifica- 
tions towards  their  northern  end,  where  the  ground  was  most  suitable  for  these 
operations  and  an  assault.  (The  boggy  grounds  south  of  the  citadel  protected 
the  place  from  attack  on  that  side.)  Other  projects  against  the  town  were  con- 
sidered and  attempted.  Warren  proposed  an  operation  against  the  Island 
Battery,  which  guarded  the  mouth  of  the  harbour.  It  was  tried  unsuccessfully, 
as  the  boats  withdrew  on  account  of  the  surf.  It  was  determined  in  the  Council 
on  the  9th  to  storm  the  town  that  night.  When  news  of  the  decision  spread 
through  the  camp,  so  much  dissatisfaction  was  expressed  that  a  hastily 
summoned  meeting  of  Council  was  held  in  the  afternoon,  and  abandoned  the 
project.  There  were  seventeen  members  present  in  the  morning  and  six  in 
the  afternoon.  The  latter  passed  the  following  : 

"Advised,  that  in  as  much  as  there  appears  a  great  dissatisfaction  in   many  of  the 
officers  &  soldiers  at  the  design'd  attack  of  the  town  by  storm  this  night,  and  as  it  may 

1  The  only  officer  whose  diary  shows  any  sympathy  with  plundering  was  Gibson,  who  was  not  a  Ne\v  Englander, 
but  had  held  his  Majesty's  commission  in  the  Foot  Guards  at  Barbadoes  (Gibson's  Journal,  p.  21).  Pepperrell  and  hit 
second.  Waldo,  were  strongly  opposed  to  it. 

8  Vol.  to,  p.  141.  Thi»,  written  by  Waldo  on  the  3rd,  confirms  the  impression  given  by  other  records  that  the 
disorder  was  great. 


be  attended  with  very  ill  consequence  if  it  should  not  be  executed  with  the  utmost  vigour 
whenever  attempted,  the  said  attack  of  the  town  be  deferr'd  for  the  present.1 

Warren  was  present  at  both  meetings. 

The  outlook  was  not  as  brilliant  as  the  leaders  had  hoped.  Du  Chambon 
had  returned  a  spirited  answer  to  the  summons  to  surrender.  The  guns  of 
their  siege  batteries  were  burst  by  overloading,2  and,  firing  at  long  range,  did 
little  damage  to  the  French  defences  ;  and  it  was  found  impossible  to  arrange 
an  attack  on  the  Island  Battery.  Discouragement  dictated  the  decision  of  the 
Council  of  War  which  met  on  the  nth  ;  for  this  was  virtually  to  abandon  the 
offensive,  and  to  attempt  no  more  than  to  hold  the  harbour  until  reinforcements 
were  sent  to  them.  The  Council  decided  at  its  meeting  as  follows  : 

"  Advized,  that  the  battery  begun  at  the  west  part  of  the  Town  be  compleated  with 
all  possible  expedition,  and  the  eight  22lb  cannon  be  mounted  there. 

"  Advized,  that  two  regiments  be  posted  on  the  west  part  of  the  town  to  guard  the 
batteries  there,  and  to  intercept  succours  that  may  attempt  to  get  into  the  town  that  way. 

"That  one  regimt  be  posted  at  the  Grand  Battery. 

"  That  a  battery  be  thrown  up,  and  the  New  York  train  of  artillery  and  some  cannon 
from  the  Grand  Battery  be  mounted  between  the  light-house  and  careening  place,  and  that 
the  remaindr  of  the  army  with  the  stores  encamp  in  some  proper  place  abt  the  North  East 
Harbour,  &  intrench  there  and  place  the  field  pieces  round  the  camp,  that  so  they  may 
be  able  to  keep  possession  of  the  harbour  till  measures  can  be  taken  for  the  effectual  re- 
duction of  the  town. 

"That  some  guard-boats  be  prepared  &  kept  in  readiness  in  the  North  East  Harbour 
to  intercept  small  vessells  from  getting  to  the  town  with  succors."3 

It  was  also  decided  that  Shirley  send  down  a  reinforcement  of  one 
thousand  men.  The  battery  was  begun,  no  steps  were  taken  to  remove  the 
troops,  and  by  the  i8th  the  action  was  reconsidered  in  Council  and  the  project 
abandoned.  Vaughan  wrote,  on  the  nth,  that  he  could  take  the  Island  Battery 
if  given  control  of  an  expedition  against  it.  He  busied  himself  with  preparations, 
but  was  obliged  to  write  Pepperrell  that  the  indiscipline  of  the  men  made  the 
expedition  impossible.  A  bungling  attempt  to  burn  a  vessel  from  France,  which 
had  passed  through  the  cruisers  unhurt  by  their  fire  and  that  of  the  Grand 
Battery,  and  had  been  anchored  or  was  beached  close  under  the  walls  of  the 
town,  was  also  made  and  failed. 

Warren  was  getting  uneasy.  He  pointed  out  to  Pepperrell  that  the 
St.  Lawrence  was  open,  and  that  reinforcements  might  be  sent  down  from 
Quebec  as  well  as  from  France.  Pepperrell's  letters  to  Shirley  became  apologetic 
in  their  tone,  for  he  and  his  officers  were  receiving  letters  which  showed  that  at 
home  hopes  were  held  that  they  were  in  Louisbourg  when  they  had  not  landed.4 

1  Vol.  10,  p.  17.  2  Many  accidents  of  this  kind  took  place  to  their  own  guns  and  men. 

3  Vol.  10,  p.  1 8.  4  Parkman,  also  vol.  10. 


Warren  proposed  an  attack  on  the  town,  by  the  combined  land  and  sea  forces, 
for  which  he  secured  the  approval,  not  only  of  his  own  captains,  but  of  Rous 
and  Fones,  of  the  colonial  cruisers.  The  Council  determined  that  the  circum- 
stances of  the  army  did  not  justify  its  immediate  undertaking.  Warren  was 
unquestionably  disappointed,  and  some  irritation  appears  in  his  letters  to 
Pepperrell.  Before  this  had  risen  to  any  plain  expression  one  event  occurred 
which  materially  affected  the  course  of  the  siege.  This  was  the  capture  of  the 
one  ship  sent  out  from  France  which  could  have  helped  Du  Chambon  in  his 
defence.  The  Vigilant  was  a  new  ship  mounting  sixty-four  guns.  It  was  said 
that  she  was  so  heavily  laden  that  her  lowest  tier  of  guns  was  not  available  in 
battle.  Her  command  was  given  to  Maisonfort,  who  was  given  instructions 
to  succour  Louisbourg  without  uselessly  exposing  his  vessel.1 

The  Vigilant,  on  her  voyage  from  Brest,  captured  two  British  vessels,  on 
which  she  put  prize  crews  to  bring  them  in  to  Louisbourg.  On  the  2Oth  of 
May  she  was  off  the  coast  of  Isle  Royale,  proceeding  with  a  fair  north-east  wind 
for  her  destination.  She  fell  in  with  and  chased  the  Mermaid^  of  forty  guns, 
Captain  Douglass.  The  latter,  replying  with  his  stern  guns  to  the  fire  of  the 
Frenchman,  was  pursued  towards  the  northwards  where  Warren's  ships  lay. 
Douglass  signalled  to  them  the  presence  of  the  enemy.  When  Maisonfort 2  (at 
2  P.M.)  discovered  the  British  ships,  conditions  were  reversed.  He  turned 
south-westwards  to  sea,  and  was  chased  by  the  Mermaid.  He  crowded  on  all 
sail.  The  British  ship  was  joined  at  six  by  Rous,  in  command  of  the  Shirley, 
who  "  Ply'd  his  Bow  Chase  very  well."  At  eight  the  Eltham  and  Superbe  came 
up,  and  after  an  hour's  action  Maisonfort  struck.  In  the  darkness  of  night-time 
and  fog  they  all  but  lost  the  prize.  Maisonfort  had  made  a  gallant  fight,  and 
did  not  surrender  until  his  ship  was  unworkable,  and  was  so  much  shattered 
that  she  had  to  be  towed  into  Gabarus  Bay  the  next  day,  so  that  he  had  no 
chance  of  escaping.  Sixty  of  her  crew  of  500  were  killed  or  wounded. 
Douglass  was  put  in  command  of  her,  and  with  difficulty  a  crew  was  obtained 
from  the  transports  and  army.8  The  Superbe  s  master's  log,  No.  722,  has  a 
slightly  different  account,  agreeing  that  the  Vigilant  fought  until  completely 
disabled.  "  She  could  make  no  sort  of  sail."  The  logs  all  show  that  she 
inflicted  considerable  damage  on  the  three  ships  which  overpowered  her. 

Had  the  Vigilant  successfully  entered  the  harbour  the  effect  on  the  siege 
must  have  been  great.4  Its  crew  would  have  about  doubled  the  number  of  the 
defenders  of  the  town.  The  stores  she  carried  would  have  most  opportunely 

1   I.R.  B,  vol.  82,  f.  59  and  70.  2  Sec  Biographical  Appendix. 

3  This  in  brief  is  the  account  of  the  Mermaid' s  log  (R.O.  Captains'  Logs,  820). 

•  If  she  had  got  in,  I  believe  she  would  have  put  them  in  such  a  condition  as  to  prevent  any  Fleet  in  the  World's 
coming  in  the  Town  "  (Capt.  Ph.  Durell  of  the  Superb<}.  "  If  the  Ship  had  got  into  the  Harbour  we  should  never  hive 
taken  the  place"  ("an  officer  of  Marines"  in  Durell,  Captain  M'Donald  (?). 



supplemented  those  of  the  defence,  which  were  so  low  that  the  powder  was 
sparingly  used.  The  rashness  of  De  la  Maisonfort  would  have  animated  the 
defence  with  the  spirit  it  needed.  The  courage  and  tenacity  with  which  he  and 
his  crew  fought  on  the  Vigilant  until  she  was  completely  disabled,  we  must 
believe,  would  have  proved  too  much  for  the  few  and  unskilled  gunners  of  the 
Grand  Battery.  Had  they  silenced  these  guns,  then,  from  some  such  position  as 
the  Arethuse  occupied  in  1758,  the  siege  batteries  would  have  been  laid  open  to 
the  devastating  broadsides  of  the  Vigilant}-  The  fortunes  of  France  suffered 
grievously  from  the  rashness  of  her  commander. 

Powder  from  her  stores  was  found  very  useful  by  the  provincials  in  adding 
to  their  stores,  which,  like  those  of  the  French,  had  run  low.  But  the  fire  of 
their  batteries  was  not  very  effective.  With  regard  to  other  operations,  the 
officers  had  not  enough  control  over  their  men  to  order  them  to  the  attack  on 
the  Island  Battery,  and  to  have  that  order  obeyed.  The  organization  of  this 
expedition  was  being  attempted  continuously  from  the  time  that  it  was  first 
spoken  of,  but  night  after  night  it  was  put  off.  The  first  of  the  attempts 
which  were  serious  was  made  on  the  2ist.  Warren  had  two  hundred  men 
ready  to  assist,  but  the  disorderly  mob  which  appeared  at  the  Grand  Battery  was 
in  no  condition  to  make  an  attack. 

"  The  night,  owing  to  the  moon  and  the  northern  lights,  was  not  so  agreeable  as  may 
happen  the  ensuing  one,  and  the  appearance  of  small  detachments  of  men  without  officers 
was  much  less  pleasing,  many  of  which  only  under  the  conduct  (not  influence)  of  a  sarjeant 
&  many  others  only  centinells  without  any  officer  of  any  kind,  &  not  a  few  of  them  noisy 
&  in  liquor."  2 

Waldo  wrote  that  only  fourteen  of  his  men  would  go ;  although  he 
claimed  that  the  spirit  of  his  regiment  was  better  than  others.  The  men 
believed  the  French  had  wind  of  their  design.  D'Aillebout,  in  command  of  the 
island,  was  erecting  a  fascine  battery  to  protect  its  landing-place.  The  council 
had  an  examination  of  witnesses  the  next  day.  Their  decision  was  that 
Colonels  Noble  and  Gorham,  who  were  in  command,  were  not  chargeable  with 
misbehaviour  in  the  affair.  The  council  also  "  advised,  that  if  a  number  of  men 
to  the  amount  of  three  or  four  hundred  appear  as  volunteers  for  the  attack  of 
the  Island  Battery,  they  be  allowed  to  choose  their  own  officer  and  be  entitled  to 
the  plunder  found  there."  3  This  offer  produced  some  effect. 

1  See  map.  8  Vol.  10,  Waldo  to  Pepperrell,  p.  213. 

3  Vol.  10,  p.  21.  Had  plunder  been  much  of  an  inducement,  the  adventurers  would  have  been  sorely  dis- 
appointed had  the  island  been  taken.  Young  d'Estimauville  was  burned  out  when  in  command  of  the  detachment  at 
Fort  Guillaume,  at  Table  Head,  in  September  1752.  His  claim  for  reimbursement  of  his  losses  represents  that  he 
had  the  following  property:  10  shirts,  10  handkerchiefs,  n  stockings,  2  vests,  2  shoes,  8  towels  and  bedding;  also  an 
overcoat,  a  silver  couvert,  and  a  goblet,  a  hunting  knife,  etc.,  a  canteen  of  5  bottles,  demijohn  of  wine,  8  glasses,  2  flasks, 
etc.  He  was  probably  better  supplied  than  any  officer  in  1745,  and  the  four  or  five  on  the  Island  Battery  and  their 
eighty  men  would  have  given  little  to  divide. 

158        THE  REPULSE  AT  THE  ISLAND  BATTERY        1745 

The  officers  chosen  found  over  four  hundred  adventurers  assembled  at  the 
Grand  Battery  on  the  night  of  the  2bth.  As  they  embarked  they  gave  the 
impression  to  Waldo  that  the  greater  part  of  them  never  intended  to  land  in 
the  attack.  The  surf  was  as  heavy  as  any  Warren  had  known  on  the  coast. 

"  I  am  very  sorry  for  the  miscarriage  and  loss  of  men  in  the  attempt  on  the  Island  Battery. 
There  was  as  great  a  surff  the  night  it  was  undertaken  as  I  have  known  here,  and  I  desired 
Captain  Durell  to  acquaint  you,  if  you  wou'd  lend  us  your  whale  boats  we  wou'd  attempt  it 
from  the  ships  the  first  favourable  opportunity,  tho'  I  must  own  I  think  wee  ought  not  to 
unmann  them  upon  any  account,  as  the  sea  force  of  the  enemy  may  be  daily  expected,  whom 
we  ought  to  be  in  a  condition  to  receive."  l 

The  foremost  boats  reached  the  island  and  landed  their  men.  The  garrison 
was  ready  for  them  and  a  conflict  began.  The  garrison  was  small.  One  account 
says  60  to  80  soldiers.  There  were  also  about  140  militiamen.  After  three  hours 
of  fighting,  which  ended  at  four  in  the  morning,  the  victory  was  with  the  French. 
The  loss  was  i  89  men,2  and  it  paralyzed  for  the  moment  the  besieging  forces.  The 
next  day  the  batteries  were  silent  for  some  time  ;  that  of  the  Grand  because  it 
had  no  powder,  nor  men  to  work  it ;  the  others  presumably  on  account  of  the 
confusion.  Waldo  sent  one  of  his  vigorous  letters  to  Pepperrell  : 

"The  silence  of  all  our  batterys  after  the  misfortune  of  last  night  is  very  prejudicial  to 
our  interests.  I  humbly  apprehend  we  ought  rather  to  have  doubled  our  zeal  ye  way." 
"  From  all  accounts  from  shore  we  learn  the  men  are  prodigiously  discouraged."  3 

Warren's  impatience  increased.  On  the  24th  he  again  sent  a  plan  approved 
by  his  captains.  It  proposed  that  1000  men  from  the  army  should  embark  on 
the  vessels,  that  600  men  more  should  be  found  from  the  land  forces  to  man  the 
Vigilant,  that  the  harbour  should  be  forced,  the  transports  to  be  under  cover  of 
the  men-of-war,  and  that  a  vigorous  attack  in  boats  should  be  made  from  the 
ships,  and  that  Captain  M'Donald  should  land  the  marines  and  lead  the 
land  attack.4 

The  council  on  the  25th  "maturely  weighed"  this  plan,  pointed  out  that 
the  reduction  of  the  Island  Battery,  and  of  that  circular  battery  with  which 
Du  Chambon  5  had  replaced  and  reinforced  the  guns  at  the  Dauphin  Gate,  would 
be  of  great  service  to  the  attack  on  the  town,  and  that  they  would  endeavour  it, 

1   Vol.  10,  p.  253.  2  Pepperrcll  to  Warren,  May  28,  vol.  i,  p.  33. 

3   Diary  of  Rev.  Joseph  Emerson,  Chaplain  of  the  Molincux  frigate  j  published  by  Sam.  A.  Green. 

*  The  marines  on  the  men-of-war  were  about  300  in  number.  Capt.  James  M'Donald  came  to  Shirley  highly 
recommended,  and  received  from  him  a  Colonel's  commission  to  command  the  marines  under  Pepperrell,  if  they  served  on 
shore  (Shirley  to  Pepperrell,  May  10).  Pepperrell  thought  he  was  boastful  and  a  martinet.  u  I  am  well  assurd.  he  never 
wa»,  put  it  all  together,  one  hour  in  any  of  ye  trenches,  Sc  he  might  be  on  shore  before  we  came  in  ye  citty  three  days  at  a 
time  in  ye  camp,  &  then  to  be  sure  we  were  glad  to  get  rid  of  him,  for  ye  most  he  did  was  to  find  fault  that  our  encamp- 
ment was  not  regulr.,  or  yt  the  soldrs.  did  not  march  as  hansome  as  old  regulr.  troops,  their  toes  were  not  turned  enough  out, 
&c."  (Pcppcrrcll  to  Shirley,  vol.  10,  p.  330).  *  Lartigue,  a  civilian,  was  very  active  in  this  work. 

1745       FRICTION  BETWEEN  THE  COMMANDERS          159 

while  the  Vigilant  was  refitting.     They  then  summarized  the  difficulties  of  the 
situation  : 

"  That  as  the  difficulties  of  communication  between  the  army  and  shipping  are  often  so 
great  that  boats  cannot  put  off  nor  reland  for  several  days  together  ;  there  being  a  consider- 
able degree  of  sickness  in  the  army  ;  there  being  reason  to  apprehend  that  a  number  of  French 
Indians  may  be  dayly  expected  on  the  back  of  our  camp  ;  also  that  our  men  being  unused 
to  the  sea  would  be  soon  unfitted  for  service  by  being  on  shipboard  j  it  is  by  no  means 
advizeable  to  send  off  any  number  of  the  land  forces  to  go  into  the  harbour  in  the  ships, 
lest  if  by  any  accident  the  ships  should  not  go  in  at  the  time  proposed,  the  land  men  might 
not  be  able  immediately  to  repair  on  shoar,  which  might  be  attended  with  the  worst 
consequences  to  the  army. 

"  That  a  general  attack  be  made  on  the  town  by  the  army  and  naval  force  as  soon,  and 
in  such  manner,  as  shall  be  determined  upon  by  their  united  Councils  [and  submitted  an 
alternative  plan]  : 

"  Vizt.  That  five  hundred  men  be  taken  out  of  the  cruizers  and  transports,  and  distri- 
buted in  the  ships  of  war,  in  order  to  facilitate  the  manning  the  Vigilant. 

"That  the  ships  and  other  vessels  proceed  into  the  harbour  at  the  time  agreed  upon  in 
such  manner  as  Comre  Warren  shall  direct. 

"That  five  hundred  land  men  and  what  men  can  be  spared  from  the  cruizers  be  in 
readiness  at  the  Grand  Battery  to  put  off  in  boats  upon  a  signal,  and  to  land  and  scalade 
the  wall  on  the  front  of  the  town,  under  the  fire  of  the  ships'  cannon.  The  marines  and 
what  seamen  Comre  Warren  thinks  proper  to  attack  at  the  same  time  and  place. 

"  That  five  hundred  men,  or  more  if  to  be  had,  scalade  the  wall  at  the  southeast  part  of 
the  town  at  the  same  time. 

"  That  five  hundred  men  make  an  attack  at  the  breach  at  the  West  Gate,  and  endeavour 
to  possess  themselves  of  the  Circular  Battery. 

"  That  five  hundred  men  be  posted  at  a  suitable  place  to  sustain  the  party  attacking  at 
the  West  Gate."1 

Warren's  impatience  showed  in  his  letters.  He  transmitted  his  plan  of  the 
24th  in  a  letter  beginning  with  these  words  : 

"  I  am  sorry  to  give  you  the  trouble  of  so  many  plans  of  operation  against  the  garrison 
of  Louisbourg,  and  beg  leave  to  assure  you,  most  candidly,  that  they  all  have  been  such  as 
appeared  best  to  my  weak  judgment,  under  the  several  circumstances  that  you  were  in,  at 
the  different  times  of  my  proposing  them." 2 

Pepperrell  replied  in  a  calm  tone  on  the  same  day  in  transmitting  the  report 
of  the  council,  which  drew  from  Warren  a  brusque  answer,  the  basis  of  which  is 
in  two  of  its  passages.  "  For  God's  sake,  let  us  do  something,  and  not  waste 
our  time  in  indolence,"  showed  Warren's  frame  of  mine.  The  reasons  for  this 
impetuous  appeal  Warren  stated  as  follows  : 

"  I  sincerely  wish  you  all  the  honour  and  success  imaginable,  and  only  beg  to  know,  in 
what  manner  I  can  be  more  serviceable,  than  in  cruizing,  to  prevent  the  introduction  of 

1  Vol.  10,  p.  23.  8  Vol.  i,  p.  32. 


succours  to  the  garrison.  I  fear  that  if  that  be  all  that  is  expected  from  the  ships,  or  that 
they  can  do,  Louisbourg  will  be  safe  for  some  time  j  for  my  part  I  have  proposed  all  that  I 
think  can  be  done  already,  and  only  wait  your  answer  thereto."1 

Pepperrell  replied  on  the  28th  with  a  statement  of  what  the  army  had  done 
and  its  condition. 

"In  answer  to  yours  of  26th  inst.  I  beg  leave  to  represent  to  you  that  this  is  now  the 
29th  day  since  the  army  first  invested  the  town  of  Louisbourg,  and  drove  the  inhabitants 
within  their  walls.  That  in  this  time  we  have  erected  five  fascine  batteries,  and  with  hard 
service  to  the  men,  drawn  our  cannon,  mortars,  ball,  etc.  ;  that  with  16  pieces  of  cannon,  and 
our  mortars  mounted  at  said  batteries,  and  with  our  cannon  from  the  royal  battery,  we  have 
been  playing  on  the  town,  by  which  we  have  greatly  distrest  the  inhabitants,  made  some 
breaches  in  the  wall,  especially  at  the  west  gate,  which  we  have  beat  down,  and  made  a 
considerable  breach  there,  and  doubt  not  but  shall  soon  reduce  the  circular  battery.  That 
in  this  time  we  have  made  five  unsuccessful  attempts  upon  the  island  battery,  in  the  last  of 
which  we  lost  about  189  men,  and  many  of  our  boats  were  shot  to  pieces,  and  many  of  our 
men  drowned  before  they  could  land  ;  that  we  have  also  kept  out  scouts  to  destroy  any 
settlements  of  the  enemy  near  us,  and  prevent  a  surprise  in  our  camp  .  .  .  that  by  the 
services  aforesaid  and  the  constant  guards  kept  night  and  day  round  the  camp,  at  our 
batteries,  the  army  is  very  much  fatigued,  and  sickness  prevails  among  us,  to  that  degree 
that  we  now  have  but  about  2100  effective  men,  six  hundred  of  which  are  gone  in 
the  quest  of  two  bodies  of  French  and  Indians  we  are  informed  are  gathering,  one  to  the 
eastward,  and  the  other  to  the  westward." ! 

He  promised  that  he  and  some  of  his  council  will  wait  on  Warren  as  soon 
as  possible,  but  told  him  that  an  attempt  on  the  Island  Battery  by  boats  was 
impracticable  ;  a  tribute  to  the  vigour  of  D'Aillebout's  defence  on  the  26th. 

Warren  writes  again  on  the  29th  after  being 

"three  days  in  a  fog  that  I  could  not  see  the  length  of  my  ship,  nor  one  of  my  squadron  j 
when  that  is  the  case  I  look  on  myself  to  be  as  far  from  you  as  if  I  were  in  Boston."  He 
quotes  Shirley's  letter  in  which  the  Governor  refers  to  Warren's  command.  This  Warren 
says  he  mentions  "but  to  show  that  my  opinion,  which  I  shall  ever  give  candidly  to  the 
best  of  my  judgment,  might  have,  in  conjunction  with  the  captains  under  my  command, 
some  weight  and  force  with  you." 

A  most  important  step  was  now  taken,  one  which  might  have  been  earlier 
begun,  had  the  technical  skill  at  Pepperrell's  disposal  been  more  adequate.3 
The  nearest  point  to  the  Island  Battery  was  the  land  across  the  mouth  of  the 
harbour  on  which  the  lighthouse  was  placed.  A  distance  of  about  one 
thousand  yards  separated  these  points.  It  was  not,  however,  until  towards  the 
end  of  May  that  it  occurred  to  the  besiegers  to  attack  the  Island  Battery  from 

1  Vol.  i,  pp.  34-35,  May  26.  2  Pepperrell  to  Warren,  vol.  I,  p.  35. 

3  "We  being  poorly  provided  with  persons  experienced  in  engineering"  (Pepperrell  to  Bastide,  June  2,  vol.  10,  p.  239). 
Bastide  arrived  at  Louisbourg  about  June  5.     The  lighthouse  battery  was  then  under  construction. 

1745  THE  LAST  DAYS  OF  THE  SIEGE  161 

this  point.     The  first  mention  of  the  project  in  letters  to  Pepperrell  is  in  that 
of  Waldo,  who  wrote  on  the  26th  : 

"  I  have  been  over  to  the  Lighthouse  side,  where  have  found  a  very  convenient  place 
for  electing  a  fine  battery  to  the  seaward  .  .  .  and  a  flank  or  bastion  to  ye  said  battery 
that  will  mount  four  or  five  guns  that  will  range  the  Island  Battery  ...  I  have  determined 
as  Col.  Gorham's  have  leisure  enough  that  they  this  evening  and  the  ensuing  night  thr6 
up  another  .  .  .  which  will  greatly  annoy  the  Island  Battery,  being  the  best-situated  in 
my  poor  apprehension  for  the  purpose." l 

Guns  and  materials  were  conveyed  by  sea  to  the  position,  and  the  work 
carried  on.  No  movement  made  by  the  besiegers  was  more  effective.  Warren's 
ships  were  held  outside  the  harbour  by  the  Island  Battery.  The  injuries  to 
the  walls  of  the  town  were  being  repaired  as  the  damage  was  done,  or  when 
the  permanent  works  were  destroyed,  they  were,,  as  at  the  Dauphin  Gate, 
replaced  by  newly  erected  defences  of  earthwork  and  fascines.  The  French 
thus  deferred  the  possibilities  of  a  successful  land  attack.  They  guarded,  in 
the  event  of  the  harbour  being  forced,  against  boats  landing  from  the  ships 
or  from  the  Grand  Battery  on  the  beaches  and  quays,  by  stretching  a  chain 
between  the  Dauphin  Works  and  the  Batterie  de  la  Grave.  Du  Chambon  and 
his  men,  with  dogged  tenacity  rather  than  Gallic  dash,  were  doing  all  they 
could  to  hold  the  place.  Eager  as  Warren  was,  his  captains  had  on  June  7 
declared  that  it  was  inadvisable  to  attempt  to  force  the  harbour  without 
silencing  the  Island  Battery,  nor  would  the  pilots  then  with  them  bring  the 
ships  close  enough  to  bring  their  guns  to  bear  effectively  on  it.2  Warren's 
captains  added  that  if  they  could  get  pilots  who  would  anchor  the  ships  half 
a  cable  length  from  the  battery,  and  they  had  five  hundred  men  from  the  army 
with  officers,  who  would  land  where  Warren  directed,  they  would  attempt 
its  reduction.  Such  pilots  did  not  exist,  and  Pepperrell  replied  : 

"  I  cannot  think  it  advisable  to  attempt  it  again  in  whale  boats  which  a  few  musket 
balls  will  sink." 3 

The  progress  of  the  siege  was  almost  blocked  when  the  Lighthouse 
Battery  began  its  work. 

Shirley's  account  of  the  later  days  of  the  siege  clearly  and  briefly  sets  forth 
the  conditions  and  course  of  events. 

"And  by  the  I4th,  four  more  Guns  were  placed  on  the  nth,  fuftained  by  320  Men. 
Powder  growing  short,  the  Fire  had  for  fome  days  been  very  much  flacken'd,  and  the 
French  began  to  creep  a  little  out  of  the  Cafmates  and  Covers,  where  they  had  hid 

1  Vol.  10,  p.  224.     As  Waldo  gave  orders  to  proceed  with  the  work,  it  is  likely  that  the  project  had  been  discussed 
before.     There  is  no  entry  in   the  minutes  of  the  Council  of  War  about  this  battery  until  June  9,  then  only  about 
transferring  to  it  one  of  their  largest  mortars. 

2  June  7,  vol.  i,  p.  41.  3  Pepperrell  to  Warren,  June  8. 


1 62  CAPITULATION  1745 

themfclves,  during  the  greateft  Fiercenefs  of  it ;  but  this  being  the  Anniverfary  of  his 
Majefty's  happy  Acccflion  to  the  Throne,  it  was  determined  to  celebrate  it  as  became 
loyal  Subjects  and  good  Soldiers ;  and  Orders  were  given  for  a  general  Difcharge  of  all  the 
Cannon  from  every  Battery,  at  Twelve  O'Clock,  which  was  accordingly  done,  and  follow'd 
by  an  inceflant  Fire  all  the  reft  of  the  Day  :  which  much  difheartened  the  Enemy, 
efpecially  as  they  muft  be  fenfible  what  muft  be  the  Confequence  of  this  new  Battery. 
It  was  now  determined,  as  foon  as  poflible,  after  the  Arrival  of  the  Canterbury  and 
Sunderland,  to  make  a  general  Attack  by  the  Sea  and  Land  :  Accordingly  they  arriving 
the  next  Day,  all  the  Tranfports  were  order'd  off  to  take  out  the  fpare  Mafts  and  Yards, 
and  other  Lumber  of  the  Men  of  War.  The  Soldiers  were  employ'd  in  gathering  Mofs 
to  barricade  their  Nettings,  and  600  men  were  fent  on  board  the  King's  Ships  at  the 
Commodore's  Requeft.  The  large  Mortar  was  order'd  to  the  Light-houfe  Battery  ;  and 
a  new  Supply  of  Powder  arriving,  the  Fire  was  more  fierce  from  this  Time  to 

"The  1 5th,  than  ever.  When  the  Mortar  began  to  play  from  the  Light-houfe 
Battery  upon  Ifland  Battery  ;  out  of  19  Shells,  17  fell  within  the  Fort,  and  one  of  them 
upon  the  Magazine,  which,  together  with  the  Fire  from  the  Cannon,  to  which  the 
Enemy  was  very  much  expofed,  they  having  but  little  to  fhelter  them  from  the  Shot 
that  ranged  quite  through  their  Barracks,  fo  terrified  them,  that  many  of  them  left  the 
Fort,  and  run  into  the  Water  for  Refuge. 

"The  Grand  Battery  being  in  our  Pofleflion  ;  the  Ifland  Battery  being  fo  much 
annoy'd  by  the  Light-houfe  Battery  ;  the  North-Eaft  Battery  fo  open  to  our  Advance 
Battery,  that  it  was  not  poflible  for  the  Enemy  to  ftand  to  their  Guns  ;  all  the  Guns  in 
the  Circular  Battery  except  three  being  difmounted,  and  the  Wall  almoft  wholly  broke 
down  ;  the  Weft  Gate  demolifhed,  and  a  large  Breach  in  the  Wall  adjoining  ;  The  Weft 
Flank  in  the  King's  Baftion  almost  ruined  ;  all  the  Houfes  and  other  Buildings  almoft 
torn  to  Pieces,  but  one  Houfe  in  the  town  being  left  unhurt,  and  the  Enemy's  Stock  of 
Ammunition  growing  fhort,  they  fent  out  a  Flag  of  Truce  to  the  Camp,  defiring  Time 
to  confider  upon  the  Articles  of  Capitulation.  This  was  granted  till  the  next  Morning 
when  they  brought  out  Articles,  which  were  refufed,  and  others  fent  in  by  the  General 
and  Commodore,  and  agreed  to  by  the  Enemy  :  Hoftages  were  exchanged  and 

"On  the  1 7th  of  June,  the  City  and  Fortrefles  were  furrendered,  and  the  Garrifon 
and  all  the  Inhabitants,  to  the  Number  of  2000,  capable  of  bearing  Arms,  made  Prifoners, 
to  be  tranfported  to  France  with  all  their  perfonal  Effects.  During  the  whole  Siege,  we 
had  not  more  than  101  Men  killed  by  the  Enemy  and  all  other  Accidents,  and  about  30 
died  of  Sicknefs.  And  according  to  the  beft  Accounts,  there  were  killed  of  the  Enemy 
within  the  Walls  about  300,  befides  Numbers  that  died  by  being  confined  within  the 
Cafemates."  ! 

This  was  brought  about  by  the  hopelessness  of  the  situation,  well  described 
by  Shirley.  The  principal  inhabitants  of  the  city  begged  Du  Chambon  to 
capitulate.  VervUle,  the  engineer,  at  his  request,  made  a  report  on  the  battered 
state  of  the  fortifications  ;  Ste.  Marie,  another  on  their  exhausted  munitions 
of  war.  A  council  of  war  met,  and  unanimously  decided  the  proper  course 
was  to  offer  to  capitulate.2 

1  Shirley,  p.  30.  -  The  originals  of  these  documents  or  at  least  contemporary  facsimiles  are  in  M.  St.  Mery,  vol.  50. 

i745  THE  TERMS  163 

Du  Chambon  sent  an  officer,  young  Eurry  de  la  Perelle,  who  had  recovered 
from  his  wound  received  in  the  defence  of  the  Island  Battery,  with  a  letter 
asking  for  a  suspension  of  hostilities  to  arrange  terms  for  a  capitulation.  It 
was  high  time.  We  know  the  condition  of  the  town.  There  were  but  forty- 
seven  barrels  of  powder  in  its  stores.  The  men-of-war  cleared  for  action,  their 
crews  supplemented  by  600  provincials  lay  ready  in  Gabarus  Bay,  over  against 
the  camp,  to  force  the  harbour.  The  land  forces  were  prepared  with  scaling 
ladders  and  fascines  to  storm  the  breaches  in  the  walls.  Warren  had  landed, 
and  the  regiment  drawn  up  on  parade  listened  to  his  inspiring  words.  The 
suspension  was  granted  until  nine  the  next  morning.  Negotiations  were 
carried  on  during  the  i6th,  Sunday,  and  resulted  in  the  following  letter  from 
Warren  and  Pepperrell,  which  was  modified  by  later  arrangements  : l 

11  We  have  before  us  yours  of  this  date,  together  with  the  several  articles  of  capitulation 
on  which  you  have  proposed  to  surrender  the  town  and  fortifications  of  Louisbourg  with 
the  territories  adjacent,  under  your  government,  to  his  Britannic  Majesty's  forces,  now 
besieging  said  place,  under  our  command,  which  articles  we  can  by  no  means  conceed  to. 
But,  as  we  are  desirous  to  treat  you  in  a  generous  manner  we  do  again  make  you  an  offer 
of  terms  of  surrender  proposed  by  us  in  our  summons  sent  you  the  jth  may  last ;  and 
to  further  consent  to  allow  and  promise  you  the  following  articles,"  viz.  : 

First. — "That  if  your  own  vessels  shall  be  found  insufficient  for  the  transportation 
of  your  persons  and  proposed  effects  to  France,  we  will  provide  such  a  further  number 
of  vessels  as  may  be  sufficient  for  that  purpose,  also  any  provisions  necessary  for  the 
voyage  which  you  cannot  furnish  yourselves  with." 

Secondly. — "That  all  the  commission  officers  belonging  to  the  garrison,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  the  town  may  remain  in  their  houses  with  their  families  and  enjoy  the 
free  exercise  of  their  religion,  and  no  person  shall  be  suffered  to  misuse  and  molest  any 
of  them  till  such  time  as  they  can  be  conveniently  transported  to  France." 

Thirdly. — "  That  the  non-commission  officers  and  soldiers  shall  immediately  upon  the 
surrender  of  the  town  and  fortresses,  be  put  on  board  of  his  Britannic  Majesty's  ship  till 
they  also  be  transported  to  France." 

Fourthly. — "  That  all  your  sick  and  wounded  shall  be  taken  tender  care  of  in  the  same 
manner  as  our  own." 

Fifthly. — "  That  the  commander  in  chief  now  in  Garrison  shall  have  liberty  to  send  off 
covered  waggons  to  be  inspected  only  by  one  officer  of  ours,  that  no  warlike  stores  may 
be  contained  therein." 

Sixthly. — "  That  if  there  are  any  persons  in  the  town  or  garrison  which  shall  desire 
may  not  be  seen  by  us,  they  shall  be  permitted  to  go  off  masked." 

"  The  above  we  do  consent  to,  and  promise  upon  your  complyance  with  the  following 
conditions :  " 

First. — "  That  the  said  surrender  and  due  performance  of  every  part  of  the  aforesaid 
premises,  be  made  and  completed  as  soon  as  possible." 

Secondly. — "  That  as  a  security  for  the  punctual  performance  of  the  same,  the  Island 

1  See  end  of  chapter. 

1 64  SURRENDER  OF  THE  TOWN  1745 

Battery  or  one  of  the  batteries  of  the  town  shall  be  delivered  together  with  the  warlike 
stores,  thereunto  belonging  unto  the  possession  of  his  Brit.  Majesty's  troops,  before  six 
of  the  clock  this  afternoon." 

Thirdly. — "That  his  said  Brit.  Majesty's  ship  of  war  now  lying  before  the  port,  shall 
be  permitted  to  enter  the  Harbour  of  Louisbourg  without  any  molestation  as  soon  after 
six  of  the  clock  this  afternoon  as  the  commander  in  chief  of  said  ships  shall  think  fit." 

Fourthly. — "  That  none  of  the  officers,  soldiers,  non-inhabitants  in  Louisbourg  who  are 
subjects  of  the  French  King  shall  take  up  arms  against  his  Brit.  Majesty,  nor  any  of  his 
allies  until  after  the  expiration  of  the  full  term  of  twelve  months  from  this  time." 

Fifthly. — "That  all  subjects  of  his  Brit.  Majesty  who  are  now  prisoners  with  you 
shall  be  immediately  delivered  up  to  us." 

"In  case  of  your  non-compliance  with  these  conditions  we  decline  any  further  treaty 
with  you  on  this  affair,  and  shall  decide  the  matter  by  our  arms,  and  are,  Sir,  Your 
humble  servants,  P.  WARREN, 


The  point  on  which  Du  Chambon  held  out  to  the  last  was  the  granting  the 
honours  of  war,  that  is  marching  out  with  their  arms  and  colours  flying.  An 
interchange  of  letters  between  Pepperrell  and  Warren  showed  that  their  senti- 
ments agreed  on  this  point,  "  the  uncertainty  of  our  affairs  that  depends  so  much 
on  wind  and  weather  make  it  necessary  not  to  stick  at  trifles."  l  Hostages  from 
the  town  were  sent  to  them.  It  was  arranged  that  Warren  should  take  posses- 
sion of  the  Island  Battery  and  Pepperrell  of  the  town.  The  inexperience  of  the 
civilian  General  led  to  precipitancy,  of  which  Du  Chambon  complained  to  Warren. 
Pepperrell  did  not,  apparently,  know  that  taking  possession  was  irregular  until 
after  the  ratification  of  the  articles  of  capitulation.  These  were  hastened  to 
completion,  and  on  the  iyth  the  town  was  yielded  up. 

"Monday,  17.  This  day,  the  French  flag  was  struck,  and  the  English  one  hoisted  up 
in  its  place  at  the  island  battery.  We  took  possession  early  in  the  morning.  We  hoisted 
likewise  the  English  flag  at  the  grand  battery,  and  our  other  new  batteries  ;  then  fired 
our  cannons  and  gave  three  huzzas.  At  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  Commodore 
Warren,  with  all  the  men-of-war,  as  also  the  prize  man-of-war  of  sixty  guns ;  (the 
Vigilant],  our  twenty  guns  ships;  likewise  our  snows,  brigantines,  privateers  and  trans- 
ports, came  all  into  Louisbourg  harbor,  which  made  a  beautiful  appearance.  When  all 
were  safely  moored,  they  proceeded  to  fire  on  such  a  victorious  and  joyful  occasion. 
About  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  our  land  army  marched  to  the  south  gate  of  the  city, 
and  entered  the  same,  and  so  proceeded  to  the  parade  near  the  citadel ;  the  French  troops, 
at  the  same  time,  being  all  drawn  up  in  a  very  regular  order.  Our  army  received  the 
usual  salutes  from  them,  every  part  being  performed  with  all  the  decency  and  decorum 
imaginable.  And  as  the  French  were  allowed  to  carry  off  their  effects,  so  our  guards  took 
all  the  care  they  possibly  could  to  prevent  the  common  soldiers  from  pilfering  and  stealing, 
or  otherwise  giving  them  the  least  molestation.  The  guard  and  watch  of  the  city,  the 
garrisons  &c.,  were  delivered  to  our  troops"  (Gibson,  p.  52). 

1   Vol.  I,  F.  45- 

1745  DISORDER  IN  THE  TOWN  165 

The  terms  gave  little  satisfaction  to  the  rank  and  file.  The  prospect  of 
booty  was  as  potent  an  influence  in  favour  of  enlistment  as  it  was  in  all  other 
armies  to  a  much  later  time  than  1 745,  and  the  troops,  after  a  campaign  which 
was  full  of  hardship,  if  not  of  fighting,  saw  French  property  secured  to  its 
owners.  Warren  had  foreseen  the  possibility  of  disorder.  He  wrote  to 
Pepperrell  on  the  i6th  : 

"  I  rejoice  at  our  success  :  be  assured,  sir,  that  I  shall  always  be  glad  of  your  approba- 
tion of  my  conduct.  I  beg  we  may  all  behave  to  the  prisoners  that  fall  under  our  pro- 
tection by  the  chance  of  war,  with  the  humanity  and  honour  becoming  English  officers, 
and  be  persuaded  it  will  add  greatly  to  the  reputation  which  we  acquire  by  the  reduction  of 
this  formidable  garrison." l 

His  words  of  caution  were  justified  by  the  result.  The  French  had  been 
irritated  by  irregularities  in  the  official  conduct  of  affairs.  They  commented  on 
Bradstreet  being  sent  in  at  the  head  of  the  detachment  which  took  possession 
of  the  town.  He  had  broken,  from  their  point  of  view,  his  parole,  given  at 
Canso,  by  serving  in  this  campaign.  They  later  laid  stress  on  the  infraction 
of  the  terms  of  capitulation  in  some  of  the  prisoners  being  sent  to  France  by 
the  way  of  Boston  instead  of  directly  from  Louisbourg.  They  had  now  more 
substantial  grievances.  The  arrangements  to  protect  the  inhabitants  were 
inadequate.  Pillage,  rioting,  and  insult  were  the  lot  of  these  people  who  had 
already  been  subjected  to  the  hardship  of  so  long  a  siege.  Du  Chambon  com- 
plained to  the  authorities.  Pepperrell  entered  in  his  diary  on  the  I9th,  "  Many 
complaints  of  abuses  done  by  the  English  soldiers  to  the  French  inhabitants." 
Rejoicing  took  place  and  dinners.  Haste  was  made  in  removing  the  troops  to 
the  town  and  destroying  the  entrenchments,  for  there  were  rumours  that  a  large 
force  of  French  and  Indians  were  close  at  hand.  The  inhabitants  were  shipped  to 
France  as  rapidly  as  possible.  Eleven  transports  sailed  on  the  4th  of  July.  It 
was  found  that  as  there  was  scarcely  accommodation  in  the  vessels  for  the  people, 
they  had  to  leave  behind  much  of  their  property,  so  that  to  a  great  extent  they 
lost  the  benefits  of  the  capitulation.  They  were  deprived  of  their  own  vessels, 
which  fell  as  spoils  to  the  victors.  Bigot,  however,  secured  the  King's  cash, 
200,000  1.,  by  representing  it  as  the  property  of  private  parties.2 

1  Vol.  i,  p.  45. 

2  Bigot  Memoire.     The  losses  of  this  siege  were  not  great  in  men.     About  one  hundred  on  the  English  side.     A 
French  return  gives  their  force  and  losses  as  follows  : 

Statement  of  the  soldiers,  inhabitants,  sailors,  and  fishermen  who  were  in  the  town  of  Louisbourg  at  the  beginning 

°fthe8ieSe:  Soldiers 500 

Inhabitants,  sailors,  and  fishermen         .  .  .  762     1262 

Soldiers  .  .  .  .  .  .90 

Inhabitants,  etc.  .  .  .  .  .138       228 


1 66          THE  REWARDS  OF  THE  COMMANDERS  1745 

The  garrison  of  St.  John's  Island  resisted  an  attack  made  by  provincial 
cruisers,  and  the  younger  Du  Vivier,  its  commander,  carried  off  his  soldiers  in 
safety  to  Quebec.1  The  inhabitants,  unlike  those  of  Isle  Royale,  were  allowed  to 
remain  undisturbed. 

A  joint  letter  to  the  Prime  Minister  was  dispatched.  Shirley  and  the  other 
Colonial  Governors  were  advised  of  this  victory.2  The  mother  country  and  the 
colonies  rejoiced  over  the  capture  of  a  fortress  the  reputation  of  which  for 
strength  had  been  supposed  to  be  much  more  nearly  commensurate  with  its 
strategic  importance. 

Britain  was  not  ungrateful.  Warren  was  promoted  and  made  Admiral  of 
the  Blue,  and  hoisted  his  flag  amid  the  salutes  of  his  ships  when  the  news  was 
received  at  Louisbourg  on  the  25th  of  September.  It  had  been  proposed  to  make 
him  a  Baronet,  but  apparently  his  own  representations  caused  this  offer  to  be  with- 
held. The  prospect  of  an  hereditary  title  brought  too  closely  to  him,  as  the  full 
tide  of  his  success  was  in  flood,  the  disappointment  of  his  most  personal  hopes. 
"  Lord  Sandwich  in  his  letter  mentions  the  intention  to  create  me  a  Baronet.  I 
have  no  son,  therefore  if  that  cou'd  without  offence  be  let  alone,  I  shall  take  it 
as  a  favour."  3 

Pepperrell  was  made  a  Baronet.  To  him  and  Shirley  was  given  the  right 
to  raise  regiments.  This  in  itself  was  a  large  pecuniary  reward,  as  the  perquisites 
of  a  colonel  were  very  considerable.  Pepperrell,  although  Warren,  a  little  later, 
thought  that  he  on  no  account  would  accept  the  Governorship  of  the  new  de- 
pendency, had  on  July  30  applied  to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  for  the  position. 

"My  Lord  Duke,  I  beg  leave  to  trouble  yr.  Grace  to  request  yr.  favour  in  my  behalf 
to  His  Majesty,  that  if  my  Services  in  ye  Expedition  against  this  place  have  merit'd  His 
Majesty's  Gracious  Notice,  I  may  obtain  His  Royal  Commission  for  ye  Government 
hereof."  4 

Now  that  the  expedition  had  been  found  a  success,  the  outlay  incurred  by 
the  provinces  in  raising  and  supplying  it  became  of  the  first  importance  to  them 
in  their  impoverished  condition.  Massachusetts  could  not  have  undertaken  it 
had  ready  money  not  been  supplied  by  contributions  of  its  citizens.5 

To  be  deducted  : 

Killed  during  the  siege .  .  .  .  -5° 

Wounded  .  .  .  .  .  So        i^o 

Remaining  alter  the  siege  i  ;6o 

Besides  the  Srs.  de  Souvigny,  la  Frcsilliere,  and  Loppinot,  officers,  killed  (M.  St.  M.  vol.  50,  p.  495).     This  seem«  to 
include  only  the  combatants,  the  actual  number  of  inhabitants,  including  those  of  the  outports,  was  nearly  8000. 
1    He  arrived  there  on  August  7. 
-  The  news  reached  Boston  e.irly  on  the  morning  of  July  3. 

3  Warren  to  Anson,  Oct.  2. 

4  Pepperrell  to  Newcastle,  Louisbourg,  July  30,  1745.     C.O.  ;/. 

3  Mr.  Dudley  Pickman  was  the  largest  subscriber  to  this  fund,  with  the  exception  of  Pepperrell.     A  handsome  piece 
of  silver  presented  by  Massachusetts  in  recognition  of  his  services  is  still  extant. 


The  custom  in  the  old  wars  had  been  to  reimburse  the  colonies  for  such 
expenditures.  All  their  expeditions  had  been  undertaken  by  authority  from 
home,  but  in  this  case,  Massachusetts  having  been  its  prime  mover,  the  question 
was  raised  as  to  whether  the  reimbursements  should  be  a  matter  of  grace  or 
justice.  There  was  considerable  delay  in  the  verification  of  accounts,  and  when 
the  amounts  were  settled  there  were  again  difficulties  on  account  of  exchange. 
While  the  negotiations  were  in  progress,  the  value  of  the  bills  of  the  Province 
of  Massachusetts  had  fallen  so  materially  that  it  was  a  question  as  to  whether 
one  hundred  and  eighty-three  thousand  pounds  or  one  hundred  and  four 
thousand  pounds  sterling  should  be  remitted.  Bollan,  who  was  acting  for 
Massachusetts,  displayed  ability  in  dealing  with  all  these  matters.  Finally  the 
larger  amount  was  paid  over  and  divided  among  Massachusetts,  New  Hampshire, 
and  Rhode  Island.  The  share  of  the  larger  province  was  wisely  used  in  reducing 
its  paper  money.1  Pepperrell's  contribution  to  the  expedition  was  ten  thousand 
pounds.  It  was  presumably  repaid,  but  it  is  probable  that  Pepperrell's  perquisites 
of  two  and  one-half  per  cent  commission  on  the  disbursements  made  the  expedition 
not  unprofitable  to  him.  Douglass  does  not  hesitate  to  say  that  it  was  remunera- 
tive to  Shirley.2 

When  the  French  garrison  and  inhabitants  had  left,  some  attempt  to  clean 
the  town  was  made,  and  to  put  it  in  a  state  to  resist  an  attack  which  might  be 
made  by  the  squadron  of  de  Salvert.3  Colonel  Bastide  now  became  important. 
The  return  which  he  and  Gridley  made  of  the  warlike  stores  in  the  town  bore 
out  the  contentions  of  Du  Chambon.  There  were  but  27  bbls.  of  powder  found 
in  it.  Bastide  made  an  estimate  of  the  cost  of  repairs  which  were  immediately 
required.  This  amounted  to  £9000  sterling.  While  the  army,  defrauded  of 
their  hopes  of  plunder  by  the  capitulation,  were  engaged  in  unexciting  tasks, 
they  saw  the  navy,  which  from  their  point  of  view  had  done  little,  now  reaping 
a  rich  harvest.  The  day  after  the  capitulation  a  well-laden  French  vessel  found 
itself  becalmed  off  the  mouth  of  the  harbour.  It  was  towed  in,  a  capture,  to 

1  The  sums  paid  over  were  : 

Massachusetts      ....  £183,649  2     j\ 

New  Hampshire               .             .             .  16,355  13     4 

Connecticut         ....  28,863  *9     J 

Rhode  Island       .        .  -  »             .             .  6,332  12  10 

James  Gibson      .             .    "         .             .  547  15     o 

2  Waldo  had  to  write  to  the  home  authorities  in  Feb.  49/50  for  ^1339  pay  due  him.     He  says  Pepperrell  was 
also  unpaid.     C.O.  5/. 

"As  writers  and  preachers  forbear  publifhing  .  .  .  which  are  fingular,  rare  or  new,  left  they  fhould  prove  of  bad 
example,  I  fhall  only  fum  up  thefe  perquifites  in  this  manner:  In  the  fpace  of  four  years,  viz.  1741,  the  introductory 
gratuities  from  the  province,  and  from  ...  of  many  thoufand  of  pounds  and  the  unprecedented  perquifites  in  the  three 
expedition  years  of  1745,  1746,  and  1747,  from  a  negative  fortune,  was  amaffed  a  large  profitive  eftate  and  the  loofe  corns 
built  a  country-houfe  at  the  charge  of  about  fix  thoufand  pount  fterling  "  (Douglass'  Summary], 

3  De  Salvert  heard  at  sea  of  the  fall  of  Louisbourg  and  returned  to  France. 

1 68  NAVAL   PRIZES  1745 

the  port,  which  its  master  had  thought  French.  The  ships  of  the  French  East 
India  Company  had  been  ordered  to  rendezvous  at  Louisbourg.  Three  of 
them  came  to  that  port,  where  they  expected  to  find  refitment  and  a  convoy 
across  the  Western  Ocean.  Warren's  dispatches  tell  their  fate  : 

"  On  the  22il  June  a  large  Ship  appear'd  in  the  Offing  which  I  took  to  be  a  Sixty  Gun 
Ship,  and  the  next  morning  at  daylight  I  sent  out  the  Princess  Mary  &  Canterbury,  & 
had  the  pleasure  to  see  them  from  the  Rcmparts  take  her,  without  opposition,  they  brought 
her  in  the  day  following,  &  she  proves  to  be  the  Charmante,  a  French  East  India  Ship  of 
about  five  or  Six  Hundred  Tuns,  Twenty  Eight  Guns  &  Ninety  Nine  Men  Commanded 
by  Mr.  Nouoal  of  Contrie,  who  assures  us  that  she  is  except  Mr.  Ansons,  as  good  a  Prize 
as  has  been  taken  this  war." 

Thus  Warren  wrote  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Admiralty  on  the  25th  of  July. 
By  the  fortunes  of  war  he  was  able  in  his  next  letter,  that  of  August  I,  to  go 
on  as  follows  : 

"And  have  now  only  to  acquaint  you  that  the  Chester  &  Mermaid  have  brought  in 
here  the  Heron,  a  French  East  India  Ship  from  Bengal,  pretty  rich,  by  her  we  learn  that 
the  Triton  is  on  her  passage,  and  that  this  is  the  appointed  Rendezvous  for  their  Indian 

Again  : 

"On  the  2nd  inst.  the  Sunderland  and  Chester  brought  in  the  French  ship,  Notre  Dame 
De  la  Dfliverance,  Capt.  Pierre  Litant,  Twenty  two  Guns,  and  about  Sixty  men,  from 
Lima  in  the  South  Seas,  for  which  place  she  sail'd  from  Cadiz  in  the  year  Forty  one,  she 
has  on  board  in  Gold  and  Silver  upwards  of  Three  hundred  thousand  pounds  Sterling,  &  a 
Cargo  of  Cocoa,  Peruvian  Wool,  and  Jesuits  Bark  ;  She  came  from  Lima  with  two  others, 
each  of  them  much  richer  than  this." 

These  were  Warren's  official  accounts  of  these  events  so  interesting  to  him 
and  to  the  crews  of  the  ships  concerned.1 

The  personal  aspect  he  touches  on  in  the  letter  to  Anson  : 

"The  Captains  that  I  now  send  home  under  Captain  Edward's  Command  carry  home 
the  South  seamens  money,  and  they  will  pay  one  hundred  thousand  pieces  of  Eight,  to  my 
Attorneys,  and  the  Eighth  of  her  cargo,  and  that  of  the  two  India  Ships  when  sold,  and 
settled,  and  also  of  the  Vigilant,  all  of  which  you  will  please  to  vest  in  the  best  Funds  you 
can  for  my  advantage."' 

1  Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters  No.  2655. 

'2  Warren  to  Anson,  October  2,  Brit.  Mus.  Acid.  MSS.  15,957,  f.  160. 

From  the  6th  to  the  1 8th  of  August  the  Canterbury  took  on  board,  according  to  her  Captain's  Log,  R.O.  No.   1 6 1, 
the  following  treasure  : 

"Came  on  board  from  the  Deliverance  South  Seaman   39  bags  said  to  contain  1000  Dollars  &  9  bags,  each  bag  said 
to  contain  300  '  Double  Loons  in  Gould.' 

Received  from  Deliverance    3  boxes  id.  to  contain  2000  dollars  each. 

•  •  »»  I  11  -i  I  GOO  „ 

7  pigs  of  virgin  silver. 

i745  A  MUTINY  AVERTED  169 

Such  captures  as  these  show  the  enormous  growth  of  Law's  one  success,  the 
French  East  India  Company,  founded  less  than  thirty  years  before,  as  well  as 
the  effect  of  the  system  of  prize  money,  which  made  a  naval  command  during 
these  wars  one  of  the  most  remunerative  enterprises  in  which  one  could  be 

Warren  was  appointed  Governor,  but  his  commission  not  arriving,  he  and 
Pepperrell  remained  at  Louisbourg  until  the  spring  of  1746  and  jointly 
administered  the  affairs  of  a  new  establishment.  The  problems  with  which 
they  had  to  deal  were  as  trying,  if  not  as  critical,  as  those  which  arose  during 
the  siege.  The  rank  and  file,  as  well  as  many  of  the  officers  of  the  provincial 
forces,  began  as  soon  as  they  had  entered  the  town  to  turn  their  thoughts  to 
getting  back  to  their  homes.  Shirley's  proclamation  for  raising  the  troops  was 
loosely  worded,  but  the  preservation  of  this  important  capture,  open,  it  was  felt 
by  the  authorities,  to  attack  from  France  or  from  Canada,  made  the  retention 
of  these  forces  at  Louisbourg  until  the  arrival  of  regular  troops  absolutely 
indispensable.  Pepperrell  dealt  as  well  with  the  matter  as  was  possible.  The 
sick  were  sent  home  ;  as  many  as  could  be  spared  of  those  whose  affairs  urgently 
required  them  were  also  returned,  and,  showing  the  importance  of  one  of  the 
principal  industries  of  New  England,  those  who  had  contracts  for  the  supply  of 
mast  timber  were  also  allowed  to  go. 

The  temper  of  the  troops  was,  however,  unsatisfactory.  Shirley  was  sent 
for,  and  he  arrived,  together  with  Mrs.  Warren  and  his  own  family,  on  the  iyth 
of  August.  The  troops  by  this  time  were  mutinous.  However,  they  received 
the  Governor  with  due  form  and  ceremony. 

"The  whole  army  was  mustered  and  placed  in  the  most  Genteel  manner  to  Receive 
the  Govr.  the  Genl.  walk't  foremost  the  Governors  Lady  at  his  Right.  Then  his  Excellency 
&c.  The  men  Stood  on  Each  Side  with  their  arms  Rested  from  ye  Gate  By  ye 
Comondores  To  ye  Barracks  att  ye  Govrs  :  Landing  ye  Cannon  fir'd  from  ye  Batterys  & 
from  ye  men  of  war ;  when  the  Battallian  was  Dismissed  there  was  fireing  with  Small  arms 
for  two  Hours.  His  Excellency's  arrival  was  verry  Rejoycing  To  us  all."2 

The  dissatisfaction  of  the  troops  was  at  its  height  in  September.  On  the 
iyth  they  had  plotted  to  lay  down  their  arms  on  the  next  day.  Acting  after 
consultation  with  the  Council,  Shirley  addressed  the  troops  and  promised  an 

Received  from  Deliverance  32  boxes  sd.  to  contain  2000  dollars  each. 
i  „  „  1140  doubleoones. 

1 8  bars  of  gold  sd.  to  weigh  65 \  Ibs. 
1000  dollars  in  silver  &  39  bales  of  wool. 
22  chests  sd.  to  contain  2000  dollars  each, 
ii  „  „  3000  „ 

40  „  „  3000  dollars  each." 

1  Warren  also  retained  of  his  specie  100,000  Spanish  dollars  to  meet  the  immediate  expenses  of  the  ships 

2  Bradstreet's  Diary,  p.  33. 

i7o  FEARS  OF  ATTACK  1745 

increase  of  pay  to  forty  shillings  a  month.1     His  efforts  to  placate  the  soldiers 
were  successful.     On  October  2  the  members  of  Council,  answering  his  inquiry, 

"  Unanimously  declared  that  it  was  their  opinion  that  His  Excellency's  said  declarations 
and  measures  had  quite  appeased  and  delayed  the  spirit  of  discontent,  and  that  the  soldiers 
appeared  well  satisfied  with  his  declaration  to  them,  claiming  that  many  of  them  were 
uneasy  in  their  prospects  of  being  detained  here  from  their  families  till  Spring,  some  of 
them  for  want  of  cloths."  '• 

When  these  exciting  events  had  ceased  to  occur,  the  garrison  settled  down 
to  what  to  them  would  have  seemed  a  dreary  winter,  with  their  only  occupation, 
the  repair  of  the  fortifications  and  buildings.  It  proved  more  than  a  dreary 
autumn  and  winter.  Louisbourg  at  its  best  was  a  town  of  narrow  streets  and 
lanes.  The  interruption  to  ordinary  life  of  the  siege  had  resulted  in  an 
accumulation  of  filth  that  turned  the  town  into  a  midden.  The  change  from 
sleeping  in  the  open,  to  infected  barracks  and  houses  was  unwholesome,  and  the 
entries  in  the  diaries  of  these  months  is  a  dreary  repetition  of  sickness  and 
burials.  Warren,  in  addition  to  the  "  scorbutick  disorder  "  which  afflicted  him, 
had  a  touch  of  the  prevailing  disease  from  which  he  recovered.  The  Rev. 
Stephen  Williams  was  at  death's  door  for  weeks  with  sufferings  which  he  bore 
with  fortitude,  ceasing  his  ministrations  to  the  men  only  when  his  strength  was 
completely  spent. 

In  October  the  garrison,  reduced  by  mortality  and  the  return  of  the  troops 
to  New  England,  was  nominally  two  thousand  men.  About  one-third  of  them 
were  on  the  sick  list.  Warren,  who  was  recovering,  more  than  once,  in  a  long 
letter,  touches  on  the  danger  of  an  attack  on  a  garrison  of  this  size  where  from 
eight  to  fourteen  of  its  members  die  daily.3 

There  were  causes  for  alarm.  Some  of  de  Salvert's  smaller  ships  touched 
at  a  port  in  Newfoundland,  which  Warren  thought  might  be  a  base  from  which 
an  attack  would  be  directed.  Word  was  brought  that  a  force  of  six  thousand 
men  would  be  sent  down  from  Canada  to  retake  Louisbourg.4  It  followed  the 
same  lines  as  the  first  scheme  for  the  British  attack  in  1758,  namely,  a  landing 
in  Mire  Bay  and  an  advance  overland.  The  town  itself  was  strengthened  as 
much  as  possible.  A  boom  was  made  ready  to  protect  the  mouth  of  the 
harbour.  Guns  which  could  be  spared  from  the  ships  were  mounted  on  the 
walls  and  the  Grand  Battery  was  dismantled.  The  adequacy  of  these 
preparations  was  not  tested.'' 

1   Vol.  10,  p.  45.  2  Vol.  10,  p.  4'. 

3  Douglass'  estimate  that  New  England  lost  two  thousand  of  its  able-bodied  people  as  the  price  of  this  victory  wa» 
exaggerated.      Warren  said  in  the  spring  that  two  thousand  had  died  since  the  occupation. 

4  This   project,  that    of   Beauharnois   and    Hocquart,    was   set   forth    in    a  letter  to   the   Minister,   Sept.    12,    1745, 
A.X.  C",  vol.  83. 

*  Warren  was  dismayed  at  the  expense,  and  assured  the  Lords  of  the  Admiralty   that  the   utmost   economy  wai 
practised  by  Pepperrelt  and  himself. 

not  cxaggcr 


One  loose  thread  may  be  fastened  in.  The  friction  between  Pepperrell 
and  Warren  was  only  during  the  period  when  the  troops  were  inactive,  and 
Warren  saw  that  unless  more  progress  was  made  the  expedition  would  fail. 
Then,  irritated  by  the  lack  of  attention  paid  to  his  proposals,  the  inefficacy  of 
the  Council's  actions,  his  letters  lose  their  courteous  phrasing.  It  is  fair  also 
to  infer  that  his  bearing  in  personal  intercourse  during  these  days  may  have 
been  very  different  from  that  which  made  him  so  great  a  favourite  with  the 
colonists  among  whom  he  had  been  stationed.1 

Pepperrell's  tone  in  his  letters  never  varied.  It  commands  admiration. 
He  retained  his  calmness  in  his  dealings  not  only  with  Warren,  but  in  those 
with  his  Council.  He  was  undismayed  by  the  failure  of  plan  after  plan,  shaken 
neither  by  the  jealousies  of  his  officers,  the  recklessness  of  some,  the  sluggishness 
of  others,  nor  by  the  unreasoning  rashness  nor  the  equally  unreasoning 
despondency  of  his  men.  For  some  weeks,  under  less  momentous  circumstances, 
for  diplomacy  made  their  victory  ephemeral,  the  colonial  merchant  -  general 
displayed  many  of  the  qualities  which  have  made  immortal  the  name  of  William 
the  Silent.  Pepperrell  and  Warren  busied  themselves  in  providing  for  the 
future  of  the  colony.  They  urged  that  it  should  be  made  a  free  port  in  so  far 
as  the  Acts  of  Trade  would  allow,  confirming  in  this  the  soundness  of  the  view 
of  Raudot  and  Costebelle.  They  thought  Louisbourg  would  be  an  admirable 
port  of  call.  They  insisted  that  it  must  have  a  civil  government,  for  settlers 
would  not  come  under  a  military  governor  and  toleration  for  all  Protestants, 
and  they  parted  with  mutual  esteem,  Pepperrell  to  dignified  colonial  activities, 
Warren  to  professional  advancement  and  an  early  death.  There  was  opportunity 
later  for  misunderstandings,  had  these  men  been  of  different  calibre. 

New  England  had  taken  fire  when  the  news  came  that  the  town  had 
surrendered  to  Warren.  The  Legislature  of  Massachusetts  was  precipitate  in 
stating  its  dissatisfaction.  The  keys  were  delivered  up  by  Du  Chambon  to 
Warren.  He  apparently  handed  them  to  Pepperrell,  who  in  turn,  at  the  parade 
on  Shirley's  arrival,  delivered  them  over  to  the  Governor. 

Pepperrell  sums  up  the  matter  in  a  letter  to  Shirley  on  July  1 7  : 

"  I  am  very  sorry  you  should  meet  with  anything  to  damp  yor.  joy  relating  to  any 
dispute  between  the  Comodore  Warren  &  myselfe,  &  considering  that  we  are  both  quick 
in  our  tempers,  I  do  think  ye  land  &  sea  have  agreed  in  this  expedition  as  well  as  ever  they 
did  on  ye  like  occasion,  &  if  it  had  not  been  for  some  who  have  had  yor.  favours  I  dont 
think  there  would  have  been  any,  and  I  was  well  assurd.  that  before  we  got  possession  of 
this  place  and  since  that  it  was  of  absolute  necessity  to  keep  from  disputes  &  differences 
(or  otherwise  ye  grand  design  might  have  sufferd.)  &  I  have  strove  to  my  uttermost  to 
keep  things  easey.  It  is  true  Mr.  Warren  did  tell  me  he  was  the  chief  officer  here.  I 

1  He  certainly  placed  Pepperrell's  character,  position,  and  conduct  in  the  most  favourable  light  in  all  his  letters  to 
the  home  authorities. 


told  him,  Not  on  shoar.     I  look  upon  it  that  these  disputes  are  all  over,  as  we  both  aim 
at  ye  good  &  security  of  this  place." 

Warren  wrote  to  Anson  about  the  attitude  of  Massachusetts  : 

"  As  it  is  very  probable  you  will  see  in  some  of  the  New  England  papers,  or  hear  of 
an  address  from  the  Council  &  General  Assembly  of  the  Massachusetts  Bay  to  Governor 
Shirley,  upon  his  departure  for  this  place,  I  think  it  proper  as  it  carrys  a  reflection  in  it, 
both  upon  the  General,  and  me,  upon  him  for  submitting  to,  and  upon  me  for  assuming 
(if  it  had  been  true),  an  undue  authority  to  tell  you  of  it  as  my  Friend,  to  prevent  any  111 
impression  with  regard  to  my  Conduct,  this  was  done  without  any  manner  of  foundation 
by  111  dispos'd  people,  to  make  a  breach  between  the  General  and  me,  to  serve  some  dirty 
end.  The  General,  and  I  have  resented  it  both  to  Governor  Shirley,  and  his  Council  and 
Assemble,  who  all  declare  their  concern  at  it,  and  say  they  are  now  convinc'd  it  was  done 
too  rashly,  upon  a  misrepresentation,  and  that  they  will  give  us  publick  satisfaction  for  it 
when  the  two  houses  meet ;  I  resented  this  treatment  so  warmly,  that  I  have  had  many 
letters  of  excuse  from  numbers  of  the  people  concern'd  in  the  address." l 

A  curious  afterglow  is  thrown  on  Warren's  dealings  with  the  provincial 
officers  and  men  by  a  posthumous  quotation  of  his  opinion  of  them,  given  by 
Lord  Sandwich  in  the  House  of  Lords  during  the  troubles  with  the  colonists 

in  1775. 

"  As  to  their  prowess,  I  remember  very  well,  when  I  had  the  honour  to  be  at  the  Board 
at  which  I  now  preside,  I  had  the  curiosity  to  inquire  about  the  surprising  feats  said  to  be 
performed  by  those  people  (the  Americans)  at  the  siege  of  Louisbourg,  of  the  great  naval 
officer  who  commanded  on  the  expedition,  as  able  and  honest  a  seaman  as  ever  lived 
(Sir  Peter  Warren),  who  told  me  very  frankly  they  were  the  greatest  set  of  cowards  and 
poltroons  he  ever  knew  ;  they  were  all  bluster,  noise,  and  were  good  for  nothing.  I 
remember  a  particular  instance  he  told  me,  which,  from  the  ludicrous  circumstances 
attending  it,  made  a  very  deep  impression  on  my  mind.  Soon  after  their  landing,  there 
was  a  battery,  called  the  Island  Battery,  which  commanded  the  entrance  of  the  harbour. 
Sir  Peter  having  ordered  them  to  attack  it,  they  engaged  to  perform  it  ;  but  what  was  the 
consequences  r  They  ran  away  on  the  first  fire.  And  how  did  you  manage  ?  Did  you 
employ  them  afterwards,  or  upbraid  them  with  their  cowardice,  says  I  ? — No,  answers 
Sir  Peter,  neither  would  it  have  been  prudent ;  I  formed  the  marines  and  part  of  the  ship's 
crews  into  a  body,  to  act  on  shore  ;  and  instead  of  upbraiding  them,  I  told  them  they  had 
behaved  like  heroes  ;  for,  if  I  had  acted  otherwise,  I  should  have  never  taken  the  town,  as 
their  presence  and  numbers  were  necessary  to  intimidate  the  besieged."2 

This  is  at  best  a  free  report  of  an  off-hand  statement  by  Warren,  obviously 
inaccurate  as  a  statement  of  facts.  Its  tone  differs  completely  from  all  we 
know  of  Warren's  expressions.  Still,  this  may  well  have  been  his  opinion  of 
these  troops.  We  have  instances  of  individual  recklessness  like  that  of  the 
man,  who  enraged  by  the  injury  to  a  borrowed  coat,  killed  many  Frenchmen 

1   Warren  to  Anson,  Nov.  23,  1745  >  A(ili-  MSS.  15,95-,  f.  164.  s  Vol.  i,  p.  109. 


on  the  walls  from  a  position  he  took  in  the  open  ;  and  like  that  privateer,  who 
in  his  eagerness  in  the  chase  of  the  Marguerite  was  driven  under  and  disappeared 
in  the  Gulf.  The  indifference  they  displayed  to  ineffective  fire  from  the  walls  is 
common  among  raw  soldiers.  But  if  with  the  qualities  of  cheerfulness,  ingenuity, 
and  self-will  they  did  not  display  military  virtues,  it  makes  more  significant  the 
course  of  events.  The  aggressive  upholding  of  colonial  claims  which  we 
associate  with  the  name  of  Pitt  gave  in  the  next  war  seven  years  of  training  to 
these  men  and  their  fellows.  This  training,  and  the  inspiration  of  a  nobler  cause 
than  the  capture  of  Louisbourg,  turned  a  population,  in  their  first  essay  as 
soldiers  such  as  Sandwich  describes,  into  troops  before  whom,  at  Saratoga  and 
Yorktown,  the  armies  of  England  laid  down  their  arms. 

The  winter  wore  away.  In  the  spring  the  provincial  troops  were  relieved 
and  returned  to  New  England  in  May.  Their  places  were  taken  by  two 
regiments  from  Gibraltar,  and  Pepperrell's  and  Shirley's  newly  raised  regiments. 

Until  the  return  of  the  island  to  France,  the  garrison  was  maintained  at  an 
effective  strength  of  twenty-five  to  eighteen  hundred  men.  The  force  of 
June  2,  1746,  was  : 

Fuller    .....     613 
Warburton         .  .  .  .613 

Shirley  .  .  .  .  .     517 

Pepperrell  .  .  .  .     417 

Artillery  .  .  .  .64 

Framlon  ....     300 


On  September  i,  1747,  the  effective  strength  was  1919,  of  whom  1709 
were  fit  for  duty.2 

Pepperrell  and  Shirley  found  great  difficulty  in  getting  recruits.  Shirley 
said  it  was  easier  to  get  10,000  men  for  an  expedition  against  Canada,  than 
1000  for  garrison  duty.3  The  state  of  these  regiments  in  May  1746  shows  that 
recruiting  had  given  them 

Pepperrell's.  Shirley's. 

Massachusetts  . . .  400 

Pennsylvania  ...  150 

New  York  20  70 

Connecticut  50 

New  Hampshire  50 

Louisbourg  300  150 

When  one  notes  that  890  had  died  in  Louisbourg  between  December  and 
April,  and  that  for  weeks,  in  the  weather  described  by  Knowles,  living  and  dead 

1  C.O.  5/13.  2  C.O.  5/901.  3  Shirley  to  Warren,  Sept.  Z2,  1745  (C.O.  5/900). 


had  remained  under  the  same  roof,  it  is  not  surprising  that   the  adventurous 
preferred  a  campaign  in  the  open  to  such  service.1 

Vice-Admiral  Townsend  took  Warren's  place  in  the  sea  command.  Com- 
modore Charles  Knowles,  Warren's  former  junior,  became  Governor.  Warren 
returned  to  Boston  with  Shirley  on  the  Chester,  sailing  June  7,  1746,  and  all 
misunderstanding  having  been  cleared  away,  the  warmth  of  his  reception  was 
scarcely  less  than  that  of  Sir  William's. 

One-tenth  of  the  forces  destined  by  a  mortified  minister  to  rescue  Louis- 
bourg  and  deliver  a  counterstroke,  which  might  restore  in  America  the  prestige 
of  French  arms,  would  have  saved  the  place  from  capture.  Slowness  in  gather- 
ing together  this  great  armament  prevented  its  dispatch  until  June  1746. 

The  command  of  the  expedition  was  given  to  De  Roye  de  la  Rochefoucauld, 
Due  d'Anville,  then  in  his  thirty-seventh  year,  described  by  one  subordinate  as 
worthy  to  be  loved  and  born  to  command.  In  the  latter  capacity  he  succeeded 
his  father  as  Lieutenant-General  of  the  Gallies  at  eleven  years  of  age.  Without 
any  sea  service  he  was  made  Lieutenant-General  of  the  Naval  Armaments  of  the 
King,  than  which  but  one  grade  higher  was  held  by  those  not  of  royal  blood.2 
Whatever  may  have  been  his  qualities,  every  disaster  known  to  the  seafarer  was 
the  lot  of  his  armada.  Tempest,  the  thunderbolt,  collision,  an  appalling  epidemic, 
and  starvation  ruined  the  expedition.  D'Anville  died  in  Halifax  of  apoplexy,  or, 
some  said,  poison.  D'Estournel,  who  succeeded  him,  overwhelmed  by  responsi- 
bility committed  suicide,  and  it  fell  to  La  Jonquiere  to  bring  back  to  France  the 
ships  and  men  which  had  survived.  Those  who  would  read  its  fate  will  find  in 
Parkman  8  pages  in  which  lucidity  no  less  than  picturesqueness  adorn  the  tale  of 
its  ill  fortune.4 

Not  only  Louisbourg  and  Annapolis,  but  New  England  was  alarmed  by 
the  news  of  this  expedition.  The  hardy  provincials  marched  from  their  inland 
homes  to  defend  Boston  with  an  eagerness  that  they  had  not  displayed  before 
the  Island  Battery.  Townsend  and  Knowles  prepared  to  hold  Cape  Breton  and 
Nova  Scotia.  The  best  disposition  possible  was  made  of  their  resources. 
Knowles,  looking  back  over  the  events  of  the  summer,  thought  that  if  the 
French  fleet  had  arrived  before  August,  Louisbourg  might  have  fallen,  as  there 
were  but  five  or  six  guns  mounted  to  the  land  and  the  breaches  made  were  not 
repaired.5  But  so  sturdy  was  his  spirit  that  with  a  garrison  of  only  2015 
effective  men,  he  wrote  on  September  19,  when  the  arrival  of  D'Anville  was 
expected,  "  M.  le  Due  with  all  his  force  shan't  have  Louisbourg  this  Trip  "  6 

Knowles  knew  of  the  movements  of  the  French  fleet.      He  sent  a  flag  of 

1   C.O.  5/901  and  C.O.  5/13.  2  A.\.  Marine,  C1,  v.-l.  161.  3  A  Half  Century  of  Conflict,  ch.  xxv. 

*  The  official  documents  on  the  French  side  are  in  A.N.   Marine.  B4,  vol.   59.     Bigot  was  a  commissary  in  the 
fleet  (Memiirt  f>cur  Messire  Francois  Bigcr,  Paris,  MDCCLXIII). 

5  Ad.  Sec.,  In  Letters,  No.  234.  6  C.O.  5/44. 


truce  to  D'Anville  with  prisoners,  and  learned  something  of  their  condition.1 
Spies  whom  he  sent  later  gave  him  the  information,  that  La  Jonquiere,  who  had 
succeeded  to  the  command,  sailed  to  attack  Annapolis.2  Warren  at  Boston  got 
the  same  news,  and  while  he  felt  that  Louisbourg  was  secure,  grieved  for  poor 
Spry 3  at  Annapolis.  Spry  awaited  the  attack  which  never  came,  with  more 
solicitude  for  chances  of  British  victory  than  about  what  might  befall  him. 
He  wrote  to  Knowles,  "  Good  God,  Sir,  if  you  had  but  Ten  Sail  of  Ships  now 
how  easy  it  would  be  to  compleat  the  Destruction  of  this  Grand  Armament."  4 

No  further  warlike  alarm  disturbed  Knowles.  The  administration  of 
Louisbourg  occupied  his  attention.  He  did  not  share  the  optimistic  views 
of  Shirley,  Warren,  and  Pepperrell.  He  held  the  worst  possible  opinion  of 
the  place.  It  would  cost  five  or  six  hundred  thousand  pounds  to  put  it  in 
proper  condition.  He  thought  the  soil  barren,  the  climate  either  frost  or  fog 
for  nine  months  of  the  year,  and  within  a  few  weeks  of  his  taking  command 
had  stopped  the  carrying  out  of  the  designs  of  Pepperrell  and  Warren,  except 
completing  the  necessary  barracks.  He  had  sound  views  of  the  command  of 
the  sea,  and  therefore  thought  little  of  the  importance  of  Louisbourg  as  a 

"  Neither  the  Coast  of  Accadia  nor  any  of  the  Harbours  in  Newfld.  (except  St.  John's 
and  Placentia)  are  fortifyed  and  these  but  triflingly  and  yett  we  continue  masters  of  them, 
and  whatever  nation  sends  the  Strongest  fleet  into  these  seas  will  always  be  masters  of 
the  Cod  fisheries  for  that  year  whether  there  be  a  Louisbourg  or  not."  5 

Of  the  people  who  came  he  also  had  a  poor  opinion.  He  sent  back  the 
parish  beggars  of  New  England  who  hung  about.  He  said  that  rum  was 
the  chief  trade  in  which  were  engaged  every  one  in  the  New  England  army 
from  the  General  down  to  the  Corporal,6  and  he  describes  vividly  the  ravages 
of  alcohol. 

"  As  the  Commerce  of  this  Place  was  changed  from  Fish  to  Rum  and  the  loss  of  so 
many  of  the  New  England  troops  last  year  was  principally  occasioned  by  that  Destructive 
Liquor,  I  found  myself  obliged  for  the  preservation  of  His  Majesty's  Forces  to  endeavor 
to  put  a  stop  to  the  vending  of  it  in  such  unlimited  quantities  and  as  Admiral  Warren 
just  before  his  Departure  had  published  an  order  for  every  suttler  to  lodge  what  spiritous 
Liquors  they  were  possessed  of  in  the  Cittadel  casements," 7 

he  got  possession  of  64,000  gallons  ;  but  from  secreted  stuff,  often  as  many 
as  one  thousand  men  daily  were  drunk,  until  the  supply  ran  short.  A  rate 

1  Capt.  Scott,  C.O.  5/44.  2  Co.  5/44. 

3  Spry  was  an  officer  of  whom  Warren  thought  highly,  and  had  been  sent  to  Annapolis  in  the  Chester  to  guard  that 
position.     He  was  followed  by  Rous,  now  a  captain  in  the  navy  in  command  of  H.M.S.  Shirley,  bought  from  Massa- 
chusetts.    On  Nov.  4,  1744,  Spry  had  gained  reputation  among  the  people  of  New  England  by  his  capture  of  a  Louis- 
bourg privateer.     Shirley  to  Newcastle,  Nov.  9  (C.O.  5/900). 

4  Chester  at  Annapolis,  Oct.  4  (C.O.  5/44).  8  C.O.  5/44.  6  Letter  of  July  9.  7  C.O.  5/44. 

176  HOPSON  GOVERNOR  1748 

of  consumption  which  had  such  results  must  have  rapidly  depleted  the  stores 
of  the  traders. 

His  judgment  in  certain  respects  was  sound.  He  foresaw  that  a  change 
in  the  stoppages  of  the  regiments  would  lead  to  disturbances  and  mutiny.  He 
was  right  in  this,  for  when  about  June  26  Knowles  communicated  to  the 
mustered  troops  instructions  he  had  received  with  regard  to  stoppages,  and 
gave  an  order  that  they  should  be  deducted  from  their  pay, 

"...  in  a  few  hours  after  the  whole  garrison  was  in  a  general  mutiny  &  the  troops 
ran  &  returned  their  provisions  into  store  in  a  tumultous  manner  &  swore  that  they  were 
no  longer  soldiers.  It  was  impossible  to  discover  any  leader,  for  in  an  instant  there  were 
more  than  a  thousand  assembled  together  ;  as  I  thought  no  time  was  to  be  lost  to  prevent 
the  threatening  danger  I  immediately  order'd  them  under  arms  &  met  them  upon  the 
parade  &  informed  them  it  was  His  Majesty's  Order  &  that  nothing  but  the  exigencies 
of  the  state  for  money  to  carry  on  the  War  could  occasion  this  stoppage  being  made. 
They  remonstrated  regiment  by  regiment  that  they  were  ready  to  obey  His  Majesty's 
commands  with  their  lives,  but  they  must  perish  in  this  climate  if  those  stoppages  were 
made,  that  it  was  scarce  possible  for  them  honestly  now  to  supply  themselves  with 
necessarys  and  the  Common  Refreshments  of  Life  in  this  Scarce  and  dear  place  but  it 
would  be  absolutely  so  with  those  deductions  &  that  therefore,  if  they  had  not  their 
full  Pay  they  could  be  no  longer  soldiers,  all  reasoning  proving  ineffectuall,  and  perceiving 
many  to  be  heated  with  drink,  I  found  myself  obliged  to  order  their  pay  &  provisions 
to  be  continued  to  them  till  His  Majesty's  further  Pleasure  should  be  known,  when 
they  huzza'd  &  said  they  would  serve  faithfully.  I  told  your  Grace  in  several  of  my 
former  letters  that  I  dreaded  the  consequences  of  such  an  order  being  issued  &  I  may 
now  rejoice  that  nothing  worse  had  happened,  for  I  will  venture  to  affirm  that  had  four 
hours  been  neglected  to  have  given  them  satisfaction  no  reasoning  would  have  been 
able  to  have  stopped  their  rage  &  force  we  had  not  to  quell  it  with."  l 

Much  to  his  delight  he  was  relieved  to  take  command  of  the  West  Indies 
squadron.  On  the  i8th  of  September  1747  he  resigned  the  government  to  Col. 
Peregrine  Hopson,  the  senior  officer  of  the  garrison,  and  sailed  the  next  day  for 
Jamaica.  Hopson's  occupancy  of  the  position  was  not  marked  by  any  events 
more  serious  than  an  attack  on  a  block-house  at  Table  Head,  erected  by  the 
English  to  protect  the  coal  mines.  The  occasional  capture  by  bands  of  Indians 
of  an  imprudent  officer,  and  the  incursion  of  Marin  into  Cape  Breton  in  i  748, 
which  Hopson  claimed  was  a  breach  of  the  peace  which  had  then  been  established, 
broke  the  monotony  of  the  place.  While  the  officers  of  its  garrison  were  still 
uncertain  as  to  their  fate,2  diplomacy  had  dealt  with  the  situation.8 

1  Knowles  to  Newcastle,  June  28,  1747,  C.O.  5/901,  p.  128.  Choleric  and  unpleasant  as  Knowles  was,  he 
acted  in  this  instance  with  excellent  judgment. 

3  "Some  say  we  shall  battle  the  elements  in  this  damned  place  for  six  or  eight  months  longer"  (Lawrence  to 
Knowles,  Oct.  12,  1748,  B.M.  MSS.  15.956,  f.  177). 

3  The  forecasts  of  Knowles  proved  nearer  correct  than  those  of  Shirley  or  Warren.  The  holding  of  Cape  Breton 
had  not  proved  the  advantage  to  New  England  which  they  and  many  others  had  hoped.  The  settlers  were  few,  but 



The  principal  accounts  of  the  engagement  are  in  the  Logs.  That  of  the 
Mermaid  is  as  follows  : 

MERMAID,  zotA  May. 

Hazey  Wear.,  Gave  Chace  to  the  S.W.  at  i  wore  Ship  to  the  No.  Wd.  the  Chace 
hoistd.  a  French  Ensign  &  Pendt.  We  fired  our  Stern  Chace  on  her  wch.  she  returned 
from  her  Bow  we  made  ye  Sigl.  of  Discovering  a  Strange  Ship  to  ye  Fleet  who  were 
all  in  shore  at  2  the  chace  perceivg.  our  Fleet  wore  to  ye  So.  Wd.  &  gave  us  his  Broadside 
we  wore  after  him  and  returned  it  he  made  all  the  Sail  Possible  we  kept  Close  under  his 
Starboard  Quarter  he  kept  Plying  his  stern  Chase  as  we  did  our  Bow  we  Portd.  our  Helm 
twice  and  gave  him  two  Broadsides  at  6  Came  up  Capn.  Rouse  in  a  Privateer  Snow  who 
Ply'd  his  Bow  Chace  very  well  at  8  the  Commodr.  in  the  Superbe  and  Eltham  Joyn'd 
us  the  Chace  Engaged  us  Large  the  Superbe  on  the  Starbd.  &  we  on  the  Larboard  quarter 
at  9  the  Chace,  struck  sent  on  bd.  our  boats  and  brot.  from  thence  the  ist  and  2d.  Caps. 
&  part  of  the  Officers  it  being  a  Thick  Fogg  could  see  no  other  Ship  but  the  Prize  wch. 
was  a  French  Man  of  War  of  64  Guns  &  500  Men  Called  the  Vigilant  Capn.  Maisonfort 
Am  Imployed  shifting  Prisoners  &  Securing  our  Riggin  Reed,  on  board  130  Prisoners 
at  8  A.M.  the  Commodr.  Joynd  us.  ... 

2 ist  May. — Modt.  &  Foggy  sent  on  board  the  ist  Mate  i  Midshipman  20  Men 
Laying  too  in  Compy.  the  Eltham  and  Commodr.  at  4  A.M.  the  Commodr.  stood  in  for 
the  Land  sent  on  bd.  the  Prize  I  Midshipman  and  15  Men  to  Assist  she  being  much 
shattered  (R.O.  Captain's  Logs.  No.  820). 

The  Captain  of  the  Eltham  on  the  2Oth  enters  : 

At  7  P.M.  came  up  with  chace  she  tackt.  &  Came  Close  to  our  Larboard  side  & 
Discharged  a  broad  Side  &  A  Volley  of  Small  arms  which  killed  one  man  &  wounded  two : 
we  immediately  Returned  a  broad  side  a  low  &  a  loft  with  a  Volley  of  Small  Arms  which 
Shott  his  fore  top  saile  Yard  &  mizon  Yard  away  in  ye  Slings  and  he  called  out  for  good 
quarters,  we  had  Several  Shott  holes  in  all  our  Sailes  ye  fore  Spring  Stay  was  Shott 
away  Main  braces  Driver  yard  :  ye  Cacsce  (sic}  proved  to  be  a  french  Ship  of  Warr 
called  ye  Vigilant  of  breast  of  64  guns  bound  to  Lewisbourg  :  Reed,  much  damage  in 
ye  rigging  (R.O.  Master's  Logs  No.  393). 

Pepperrell,  than  whom  none  could  be  better  authority,  as  he  would  get 
an  authentic  account  from  Warren,  thus  relates  the  incident  : 

About  noon   a  large  French  ship  (which   proved   to  be  the   Vigilant  a  ship  of  war 

this  was  accounted  for  by  the  disturbed  conditions  of  these  few  years.  At  least  two  thousand  men  died  as  the  result 
of  the  siege,  a  large  proportion  of  the  young  and  adventurous  of  the  people  of  sparsely  settled  Colonies.  The  projected 
expeditions  against  Canada  in  1746  and  1747  so  upset  the  normal  course  of  events  that  New  England  was  unable  to 
adequately  exploit  industries  her  people  had  already  developed.  War  and  commercial  depression  rather  than  any  local 
conditions  accounted  fully  for  the  stagnation  of  Louisbourg  during  the  years  it  was  under  the  British  flag. 



mounting  64  guns)  came  up  with  the  Mermaid  (in  sight  of  the  camp)  &  fired  upon  her, 
&  soon  after  with  Capt.  Rouse  in  ye  Shirly  Gaily.  Both  of  those  ships  fired  frequently 
at  the  Vigt.  but  did  not  care  to  come  too  near  therefore  bore  away  towards  the  Commodore 
&  other  of  our  ships  which  were  nearer  ye  shore.  The  Com.  &  other  ships  soon  discovered 
yr.  fire  and  motions  &  being  to  windward  of  her  bore  down  &  in  the  evening  came  up 
with  her.  We  heard  a  pretty  constant  firing  all  the  Afternoon  &  in  ye  evening  at  a 
considerable  distance  &  hopd  they  will  be  able  to  give  a  good  acct.  of  her  to-morrow.  .  .  . 
After  some  dispute  the  Frenchmen  having  about  20  men  killed  &  abt.  as  many  wounded, 
strook,  but  it  being  foggy  &  a  large  sea,  the  Com.  not  hearing  ye  cry  for  qr.  gave  him 
a  broadside  &  then  lost  the  prize,  it  being  dark,  but  the  Mermaid  being  near  and  knowing 
she  had  strook  sent  her  boat  with  4  men  on  board  the  prize  where  yy.  stayed  all  nt.  The 
next  morn,  the  Com.  discovd.  her  at  a  little  distance  in  much  confusion  her  rigging,  yards 
&  masts  much  hurt  &  soon  went  to  work  to  make  ye  proper  distribution  of  the  prisoners 
&  rectifie  the  ship  in  order  to  bring  her  in.  [The  discrepancies  are  illuminating.] 




Whereas  there  is  now  encamped  upon  the  Island  of  Cape  Breton  near  the  city  of 
Louisbourg,  a  number  of  his  Brittanic  Majesty's  Troops  under  the  Command  of  the 
Honble.  Lieut.  General  William  Pepperrell,  Esq.,  and  also  a  Squadron  of  His  Majesty's 
Ship  of  War,  under  the  Command  of  the  Honble.  Peter  Warren,  Esq.,  is  now  lying 
before  the  Harbour  of  said  city  ;  for  the  reduction  thereof  to  the  obedience  of  the  Crown 
of  Great  Britain.  We,  the  said  William  Pepperrell  and  Peter  Warren,  to  prevent  the 
effusion  of  Christian  Blood,  do  in  the  name  of  our  Sovereign  Lord  George  the  Second,  of 
Great  Britain,  France  and  Ireland  King,  etc.,  Sommons  you  to  Surrender  to  his  said 
Majesty's  obedience,  the  said  city,  fortresses  and  territories  ;  together  with  the  Artillery, 
arms  and  stores  of  War,  thereunto  belonging. 

In  consequence  of  which  surrender,  We,  the  Sd.  William  Pepperrell  and  Peter 
Warren,  in  the  name  of  our  said  Sovereign  do  assure  you  that  all  the  subjects  of  the 
French  King,  now  in  said  city  and  territories,  shall  be  treated  with  the  utmost  humanity  ; 
have  their  personal  Estates  secured  to  them  and  have  leave  to  transport  themselves  and  sd. 
effect  to  any  part  of  the  French  King's  Dominions  in  Europe.  Your  answer  hereto  is 
demanded  at  or  before  five  of  the  clock  this  afternoon. 


To    the    Commander    in    Chief  of   the    French 

King's  troops,  in  Louisbourg,  on  the  Island 
of  Cape  Breton. 


A  LOUISBOURG,  le  18  mai  1745. 
Nous,  Louis  Du  Chambon,  Chevalier  de  1'ordre  militaire  de  St.  Louis,  Lieutenant  du 


Roy,  Commandant  pour  Sa  Majestic"  Tres  Chrdtienne  des  Isles  Royale,  Canso,  St.-Jean  et 
terres  adjacentes. 

Sur  la  semination  qui  nous  a  e"t6  faite  ce  jour  septieme  may  vieux  stylle,  de  la  part  du 
Sieur  honorable  Pepperrell,  Lieutenant  Ge'ne'ral,  commandant  les  troupes  qui  forment  le 
siege  de  Louisbourg,  et  du  Sieur  honorable  Pietre  Warren,  commandant  1'escadre  des 
vaisseaux  du  Roy  de  la  Grande  Bretagne,  mouilles  pres  du  port  de  la  dite  ville,  que  nous 
ayons  a  lui  remettre  la  dite  ville,  avec  des  d^pendances,  artillerie,  armes  et  munitions  de 
guerre  sous  I'ob&ssance  du  Roi  leur  maitre. 

Le  Roi  de  France,  le  n6tre,  nous  ayant  confi£  la  defense  de  la  dite  ville,  nous  ne 
pouvons  qu'apres  la  plus  vigoureuse  attaque  £couter  une  semblable  proposition  ;  et  nous 
n'avons  de  re"ponse  a  faire  a  cette  demande  que  par  la  bouche  de  nos  cannons. 



CAMP,  June  15,  1745,  at  1/2  Past  8  o'clock,  P.M. 

We  have  yours  of  the  date  proposing  a  suspension  of  hostilities  for  such  a  time  as  shall 
be  necessary  for  you  to  determine  upon  the  conditions  of  delivering  up  the  garrison  of 
Louisbourg,  which  arrived  at  a  happy  juncture  to  prevent  the  Effusion  of  Christian  Blood 
as  we  were  together  and  had  just  determined  upon  a  general  attack.  We  shall  comply 
with  your  desire  until  eight  of  the  clock  to-morrow,  and  in  the  meantime  you  surrender 
yourselves  prisoners  of  war,  You  may  depend  upon  honour  and  generous  treatment. — We 
are,  your  humble  servants,  P.  WARREN. 




SIR, — I  have  yours  by  an  hostage  signifying  your  consent  to  surrender  of  the  town 
and  fortresses  of  Louisbourg  and  the  territories  adjacent,  etc.,  etc.,  on  the  terms  this  day 
proposed  to  you  by  Com.  Warren  and  myself;  excepting  only  that  you  desire  your  troops 
may  march  out  of  the  garrison  with  their  arms  and  colours  flying,  to  be  there  delivered 
into  our  custody  till  the  said  troop's  arrival  in  France,  at  which  time  to  have  them  returned 
to  them  which  I  consent  to,  and  send  you  a  hostage  for  the  performance  of  what  we  have 
promised,  and  have  sent  to  Com.  Warren  that  if  he  consents  to  it  he  would  send  a  detach- 
ment on  Shore  to  take  possession  of  the  Island  Battery. — I  am,  Sir,  your  humble  servt., 




SIR, — I  have  received  your  letter  of  this  date,  desiring  that  His  most  Christian 
Majesty's  Troops,  under  your  command,  may  have  the  honours  of  war  given  them  so  far 
as  to  march  to  my  Boats  at  the  Beach,  with  their  musquets,  and  Bayonets,  and  colours 


flying,  there  to  deliver  them  to  the  officers  of  his  Brittanic  Majesty  whom  I  shall  appoint 
for  that  purpose,  to  be  kept  in  my  custody  till  they  shall  be  landed  in  the  French  King's 
Dominions,  then  and  there  to  be  returned  to  him,  which  I  agree  to  in  consideration  of 
your  gallant  defense,  upon  the  following  conditions. 

First. — That  you  deliver  up  immediately  to  the  officers  and  troops,  whom  I  shall 
appoint,  the  Island  Battery  with  all  the  ammunition,  cannon  warlike  and  other  King's 
stores  belonging  in  the  condition  they  now  are. 

Secondly. — That  all  the  ships  of  war  and  other  vessels  do  enter  the  Harbour  without 
molestation  at  any  time  after  daylight  to-morrow  morning,  and  that  the  keys  of  the  town 
be  delivered  to  such  officers  and  troops  as  I  shall  appoint  to  receive  them,  and  that  all  the 
cannon,  warlike  and  other  King's  stores  in  the  town  be  also  delivered  up  to  the  said  officer. 

I  expect  your  immediate  complyance  with  these  terms  and  beg  to  assure  you,  that  I 
am  with  regard,  Sir,  your  most  obt.  and  humble  servant,  P.  WARREN.1 

1  Quebec  MSS.  vol.  3  ;  Moreau  St.  M.  vol.  50. 


THE  Treaty  of  Aix-k-Chapelle  was  finally  signed  October  18,  1748.  Its  main 
provisions  were  arranged  in  the  preliminaries  of  peace  definitely  agreed  to  by  the 
contracting  parties  on  the  previous  3<Dth  of  April,  and  forthwith  communicated 
to  their  colonial  governors.  The  places  taken  during  the  war  were  mutually 
restored,  which  gave  Cape  Breton  back  to  France.  This  disappointed  bitterly 
its  New  England  captors,  and  blasted  the  hopes  of  making  it  the  seat  of  a 
prosperous  English  colony,  of  which  Shirley  and  Warren  had  been  the  most 
prominent  exponents.  Pamphleteers  of  the  metropolis  expressed  the  public 
dissatisfaction.1  Public  opinion  was  dissatisfied  with  the  terms  of  the  Treaty, 
the  language,  French,  in  which  it  was  expressed,  and  the  indignity  to  England 
of  giving  hostages  for  the  fulfilment  of  her  agreements.2 

The  terms  of  the  Treaty  were  not  better  thought  of  by  the  French,  and 
with  more  reason.  Louis  XV.  returned  the  Austrian  Netherlands,  Maestricht, 
and  Bergen-op-Zoom,  the  two  frontier  fortresses  of  Holland,  Madras,  and  with 
it  command  of  the  whole  Coromandel  Coast  in  India.  The  former  concessions, 
giving  up  the  command  of  the  narrow  seas,  which  it  was  England's  secular 
policy  to  hold  inviolate  at  any  cost,3  made  the  action  of  Louis  XV.  a  kingly 
largess,  rather  than  a  business  transaction.  More  humiliating  to  French  self- 
respect  were  the  renewal  of  the  agreement  to  dismantle  the  fortifications  of 
Dunkirk,  and  the  public  withdrawal  of  the  long  support  given  to  the  House  of 
Stuart  by  the  expulsion  from  France  of  Charles  Edward.4 

1  The  London  Evening  Post,  from  October  25  to  November  12,  1748,  deals  frequently  with  this  matter,  and  severely 
criticizes  the  terms  of  peace.  On  November  10-12  it  publishes  verses,  of  which  the  following  is  a  specimen  : 


(To  the  tune  of'Derry  Down.') 
Cape  Breton's  expensive,  as  well  hath  been  prov'd, 
And  therefore,  the  Burthen  is  wisely  remov'd  j 
Which  Burthen  French  Shoulders  we  settle  again  on, 
And  add — our  own  Stores,  our  Provisions  and  Cannon." 

A  history  of  the  negotiations  and  the  text  of  the  Treaty  are  in  La  Paix  a" Aix-la-Chapelle,  par  le  Due  de  Broglie, 
Caiman,  Levy,  Paris,  1892. 

8  E.g.  "A  Letter  from  a  Gent  in  London  ..."  1748,  B.M.  101,  K,  58  ;  "  The  Advantages  of  the  Definite  Treaty," 
1749,  8135,  aaa  20;  "The  Preliminaries  Productive  of  a  Premunire,"  101,  K.,  57.  The  references  are  to  the  British 
Museum  Library.  8  Corbett,  England  in  the  Seven  Tears  War,  vol.  i.  p.  10.  4  La  C.  G.  p.  205. 



Louisbourg  was  duly  returned.  The  advantages  of  a  port  in  Acadia  had 
been  made  evident  to  British  administrators  by  the  three  years  of  possession. 
Louisbourg  being  no  longer  available,  made  necessary  the  development  of  Nova 
Scotia,  which  had  lain  fallow  since  1710.  Chebuctou  Bay  was  decided  on  as  the 
site  for  its  capital,  to  which,  in  honour  of  Lord  Halifax,  President  of  the  Lords 
of  Trade  and  Plantations,  his  name  was  given.  Colonel  the  Honourable  Edward 
Cornwallis  was  named  the  first  Governor.  He  and  the  first  settlers  arrived  in 
June  1749.  The  project  was  carried  on  with  such  vigour  that  in  three  years, 
Halifax  had  over  4000  subsidized  and  more  or  less  satisfied  inhabitants,  about 
as  many  as  had  been  gathered  in  forty  years  at  Louisbourg. 

That  town,  until  the  actual  breaking  out  of  hostilities,  was  in  an  eddy  of  the 
stream  of  pregnant  events  which  took  place  elsewhere.  These  events  demand  a 
brief  statement  even  in  a  history  of  Louisbourg  of  the  narrowest  scope,  for  they, 
more  than  any  local  cause,  determined  its  fate  as  part  of  the  great  colonial 
empire  which  France  was  holding  with  so  loose  a  grasp. 

Commissioners  were  appointed  for  the  delimitation  of  the  American 
boundaries  of  the  possessions  of  the  two  Powers.1  Their  sittings  were  dragged 
out.  Disputes  as  to  procedure,  and  the  language  in  which  documents  were  to 
be  presented,  occupied  undue  time.  Claims,  widely  different,  were  presented. 
Much  irrelevant  matter  was  produced.  Little  disposition  was  shown  to  arrive 
at  a  common  ground  of  fact,  or  to  abate  pretensions  which  made  impossible  any 
fair  chance  of  development  for  the  rival.  Failure  was  the  inevitable  result  of 
such  procedure.  Their  deliberations  proved  fruitless  to  form  a  basis  for  a 
lasting  peace,  as  their  records  fail  to  give  the  later  student  any  clear  view  of  the 
merits  of  the  controversy.2  It  was  also  agreed  that,  pending  the  findings  of  the 
Commissioners,  the  status  quo  ante  should  not  be  disturbed  by  such  acts  on  either 
side  as  the  erection  of  fortifications,  or  the  placing  of  troops  on  the  disputed 
territory.  The  two  courts  agreed  expressly  to  this  stipulation,  "  that  no  forti- 
fication, new  settlement,  or  innovation,  should  be  attempted  in  those  countries 
the  fate  of  which  was  to  be  finally  determined  by  their  sentence." 

The  boundaries  of  Acadia  and  of  the  territories  to  the  westward  of  the 
Alleghanies  were  the  two  principal  subjects  of  difference  in  America.  The 
action  which  England  took  assumed  that  her  greatest  claims  to  both  these 
territories  were  sound.  This  action  was  not  that  of  the  active  colonial 
administrator  eager  to  distinguish  himself  by  straining  his  instructions.  It  was 
carried  out  by  him  under  specific  warrant  of  the  highest  authority. 

1  La  Galissoniere  and  Silhouette  for  France,  Mildmay  and  Shirley  for  England.  Their  proceedings  opened  in 
September  1750,  and  the  English  Commissioners  left  Paris  in  the  latter  part  of  1754.  Shirley  returned  to  America  to 
tarnish  a  brilliant  reputation  by  his  military  exploits  ;  La  Galissonierc  to  active  service  and  the  defeat  of  Byng  off 
Minorca,  and  Silhouette  to  carry  on  private  efforts  to  adjust  the  differences  between  his  country  and  England. 

z  For  the  diplomatic  correspondence  see  R.O.  State  Papers,  Foreign,  France,  vols.  232  and  233.  The  suggestion 
seems  fir»t  to  have  been  made  by  France,  June-July  1749.  3  ffiitory  of  the  latt  War,  p.  7,  Glasgow,  1765. 


The  first  question  which  arose  was  that  of  a  grant  to  the  Ohio  Company. 
This  was  an  association  of  Virginians  of  the  highest  standing,  with  English 
partners,  of  whom  John  Hanbury,  a  London  merchant  of  great  repute  and 
influence,  was  the  chief.1  It  petitioned  in  1748  for  a  grant  of  200,000  acres  on 
the  western  side  of  the  Great  Mountains,  upon  some  of  the  chief  branches  of 
the  Mississippi.  Gooch,  Governor  of  Virginia,  "was  apprehensive  such  Grants 
might  possibly  give  Umbrage  to  the  French,  especially  when  we  were  in  hopes 
of  entering  into  a  Treaty  for  establishing  a  General  Peace,  which  was  the  only 
Objection  he  had,  and  made  him  and  the  Council  (of  Virginia)  think  it  advisable 
to  wait  His  Majesty's  pleasure  and  Directions."  This,  in  part,  is  the 
memorandum  of  the  Lords  of  Trade  to  the  Committee  of  the  Privy  Council 
(September  2,  1748)  on  which  is  based  the  recommendation  of  the  former  that 
the  grant  be  made.2 

Instructions  were  given  to  Gooch  to  issue  the  grant,3  and  it  was  recom- 
mended, on  the  23rd  of  February  1749,  by  the  Lords  of  Trade  to  be  extended 
to  500,000  acres  on  the  Ohio,  one  of  the  conditions  being  that  on  the  first 
200,000  acres  a  fort  must  be  erected  and  the  Company  place  therein  a 
sufficient  garrison  for  the  security  and  protection  of  the  settlers.4  This  was 
agreed  to  in  Council  on  the  i6th  of  March. 

It  was,  it  may  be  noted,  the  colonial  Governor  who,  before  the  Treaty  was 
signed,  recognized  the  territory  as  disputed.  It  was  the  highest  administrative 
body  in  the  realm  which,  after  peace  was  concluded,  ignored  the  implications, 
if  not  the  words,  of  the  agreement  so  recently  executed  by  one  of  their  number.5 
With  this  spirit  informing  the  Privy  Council  it  is  not  surprising  to  find  the 
pamphleteer  discussing  the  development  of  the  northern  colonies  from  the 
standpoint  of  one  who  expects  a  new  war  ;  nor  that  the  proximate  cause  of  that 
war  was  the  operations  of  the  Company  so  brought  into  being  ; 6  nor,  that 
succeeding  historians  have  described  the  conditions  between  1748  and  1756  as 
an  imperfectly  kept  truce  rather  than  a  peace. 

The  Evening  Post  praised  the  French  management  of  colonies  as  superior  to 
the  English,  and  urged  war,  as  Great  Britain  is  as  yet  superior  to  France  in  naval 
power  : 

"  Let  us  therefore  strike  when  we  are  able,  without  regarding  the  conveniency  of  the 

1  "  The  Ohio  Company  established  and  composed  of  merchants  belonging  to  Virginia  and  Maryland  and  several  rich 
commoners  and  lords  in  the  Mother  Country"  (Burk's  Virginia,  i8z2,  vol.  3,  p.  170). 

2  C.O.  5/1366,  pp.  411-417.  3  Pp.  422-425,  December  13,  1748.  *  Pp.  427-433  and  434-439. 

5  Lord  Sandwich,  Minister  Plenipotentiary  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  was  admitted  to  the  Privy  Council,  ist  February  1749, 
and  was  present  at  the  meeting  of  i6th  March. 

6  "  Meanwhile,  the  English  traders  were  crossing  the  mountains  from  Pennsylvania  and  Virginia,  poaching  on  the 
domain  which  France  claimed  as  hers,  ruining  the  French  fur  trade,  seducing  the  Indian  allies  of  Canada,  and  stirring 
them  up  against  her.     Worse  still,  English  land  speculators  were  beginning  to  follow.     Something  must  be  done,  and  that 
promptly,  to  drive  back  the  intruders,  and  vindicate  French  rights  in  the  valley  of  the  Ohio.     To  this  end  the  Governor 
sent  Celoron  de  Bienville  thither  in  the  summer  of  1749  "  (Parkman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  i.  p.  37). 


Dutch,  the  Views  of  the  Austrians  or  the  safety  of  H—   -  (Hanover),  lest  the  time  come 
when  we  are  not  able  to  help  them  nor  ourselves."  l 

The  claims  of  England  in  Acadia  were  as  extensive  as  in  the  Ohio,  but  not 
as  promptly  made.  There  was  no  pressure  from  "  rich  commoners  and  lords  " 
to  expedite  matters.  But  within  a  few  weeks  after  Cornwallis  arrived  in 
Halifax  he  had  instructions  from  the  Lords  of  Trade  in  reference  to  the 
northern  part  of  the  province  : 2 

"  And  as  there  is  great  reason  to  apprehend  that  the  French  may  dispute  the  right  of 
the  Crown  of  Great  Britain  to  these  territories,  we  further  earnestly  recommend  to  you  to 
have  a  watchful  eye  to  the  security  thereof  and  upon  the  proceedings  of  the  French." ' 

England  stated  her  rights  even  more  strongly  in  the  instructions  to  the 
Commissioners,  Shirley  and  Mildmay  : 

"  And  therefore  you  are  to  insist  that  his  most  Christian  Majesty  has  no  right  to  any 
Lands  whatsoever  lying  between  the  River  Saint  Lawrence  and  the  Atlantick  Ocean, 
except  such  Islands  as  ly  in  the  mouth  of  the  said  River  and  in  the  Gulph  of  the  same 

La  Galissoniere,  then  Governor  of  Canada,  was  equally  clear  that  these 
lands,  now  the  province  of  New  Brunswick,  and  that  part  of  Quebec  lying 
between  the  northern  boundary  of  New  Brunswick  and  the  St.  Lawrence 
River,  were  part  of  Canada  and  not  of  Acadia. 

Leaving  untouched  the  pretensions  of  the  Powers,  we  can  deal  with  the  facts. 
The  population  consisted  of  a  very  small  settlement  on  the  St.  John  River,  and 
some  hamlets  to  the  north  of  the  isthmus  peopled  by  the  overflow  of  the  Acadians 
on  the  peninsula  of  Nova  Scotia,  as  well  as  somewhat  important  fishing  stations 
on  the  Miramichi,  the  Baie  des  Chaleurs,  and  the  south  shore  of  the  St. 
Lawrence.  In  1732  the  people  of  St.  John  River  had  taken  the  oath  of 
allegiance  to  England.5  In  the  same  year  the  people  of  Chippody,  one  of  the 
settlements  of  Acadians,  had  applied  to  Armstrong  for  grants  of  land.6 

La  Galissoniere  admitted  that  this  was  the  case  : 

"  Most  of  the  poor  people  are  of  Acadian  stock,  they  have  been  almost  entirely  abandoned 
by  Canada  and  France  since  the  Peace  of  Utrecht,  and  the  English  have  made  them  believe 
that,  having  been  subject  formerly  to  the  French  Governor  of  Port  Royal,  they  owed  the 
same  obedience  to  the  English  Governor."7 

As  regards  sovereignty,  it  would  appear  that  there  was  not  much  difference 
between  the  Powers.  France  abandoned,  as  regards  administration,  the  people 

1  Sept.  17,  1745. 

2  The  Duke  of  Bedford  wrote  Cornwallij  on  September  26  and  November  6,   1749.     One  of  these    letter*  dealt 
probably  with  this  matter.     These  letters  are  not  now  in  the  Record  Office. 

*  N.S.  Arch.  vol.  I,  p.  362.  *  C.O.  Nova  Scotia,  vol.  39. 

*  N.S.  Arch.  vol.  I,  p.  98.  •  Ibid.  p.  92.  ~  Can.  Ar.  Report,  1905,  vol.  ii.  p.  304. 

1750  STEP  TAKEN  BY  FRANCE  185 

along  the  northern  shore  of  the  Bay  of  Fundy.  The  officials  of  England  never 
penetrated  to  the  more  northern  settlements  of  the  territory  which  she  vigorously 
claimed.  It  was,  however,  used  by  France  down  to  what  the  French  claimed 
was  its  extreme  southern  limit,  the  isthmus  of  Chignecto,  as  the  route  between 
Canada  and  Isle  Royale  ;  while,  owing  to  economic  and  ecclesiastical  conditions, 
the  intercourse  of  the  people  living  thereon  was  closer  with  Louisbourg  than  with 
Annapolis.  At  an  earlier  time  in  the  winter  of  1718,  St.  Ovide  considered 
placing  part  of  the  troops  of  Louisbourg  at  the  isthmus.  His  choice  of  Quebec 
was  not  apparently  influenced  by  any  notion  that  the  territory  was  not  French.1 

The  territory,  it  is  clear,  was  disputed.  Mutual  distrust,  the  curse  of 
international  relations,  began  to  work  its  evil  effects.  Gorham,  that  active  and 
seasoned  leader  of  New  England  levies,  visited  in  force  the  St.  John  River  in 
the  autumn  of  1748,  alarmed  the  inhabitants  and  carried  off  to  Boston  two 
Indians.  Their  return  was  demanded  by  La  Galissoniere,  and  became  the 
subject  of  a  pungent  correspondence  between  himself,  Mascarene,  and  Shirley, 
and  led  to  the  instructions  to  Cornwallis  already  cited. 

La  Galissoniere  sent  in  the  spring  of  1749  Boishebert  and  a  detachment 
from  Quebec  to  hold  the  St.  John  River  as  French  territory.  His  successor  as 
Governor  of  Canada,  La  Jonquiere,  sent  the  Chevalier  La  Corne  in  the  autumn 
to  hold  inviolate  the  territory  on  the  north  of  the  isthmus.  In  the  spring  of 
1750  Cornwallis  dispatched  an  expedition  under  Major  Lawrence  to  dislodge 
La  Corne,  who  was  encamped  on  the  isthmus  with  a  military  force,  supported  by 
Indians  and  Acadians.  The  numbers  of  the  last  were  augmented  by  the  burning 
of  Beaubassin  by  the  Indians  as  the  forces  of  Lawrence  appeared.  Its  inhabitants 
were  driven  to  the  French  side,  where,  alone,  they  felt  safe  from  the  threats  of 
the  savage  allies  of  their  country. 

La  Corne  met  Lawrence  in  a  parley,  April  22,  and  maintained  that  he  was 
to  hold  and  defend  his  position  till  the  boundaries  between  the  two  Crowns  should 
be  settled  "  by  Commissioners  appointed  for  that  purpose."  2  In  short,  "  his 
replies  were  so  perimptory  and  of  such  a  nature  as  Convinced  me  he  was 
determined  in  his  purposes."  La  Corne's  force  was  superior,  "  his  situation  in 
respect  to  ground  was  properly  chosen,  and  an  argument  of  his  good  judgement " 
.  .  .  "  til  I  (Lawrence)  to  much  feared  we  had  no  pretensions  to  dispute  that 
part  of  the  country  with  him." 

Lawrence  withdrew  to  his  vessels  in  the  pouring  rain,  and  gave  himself  up 
to  unpleasant  reflections.  He  saw  that  to  dislodge  the  enemy  was  impossible, 
and  was  of  opinion  that  "  to  have  Sat  down  on  one  side  of  the  River  and  Leave 

1  I  do  not  find  any  reason  why  Mascarene  and  Bennett,  and  the  French  envoys  Denys  and  De  Pensens,  did  not  visit 
in  1714  Beaubassin  and  more  northern  settlements.     It  leaves  open,  to  the  bold,  the  view  that  both  French  and  English, 
before  any  question  of  boundaries  had  arisen,  held  that  this  territory  was  French. 

2  Canadian  Archives  Report,  1905,  vol.  ii.  p.  321. 

186  THE  SUCCESS  OF  THEIR  ACTION          1750-1754 

the  Enemy  possession  of  the  other  was  a  tacit  acknowledgment  of  the  Justice  of 
his  claim."  After  considering  "whether  we  could  Annoy  or  Molest  them 
further  elsewhere  at  Chipodie  or  Memim  Cook  "  (Memramcook),  against  which 
his  officers  were  unanimous,  the  force  returned  to  Minas  Basin  on  the  25th.  It 
would  seem  that  in  Lawrence's  mind,  if  not  in  that  of  his  superiors,  the  scope  of 
the  expedition  under  his  charge  embraced  the  harassing  of  non-belligerent 
inhabitants,  as  much  as  dispossessing  an  armed  French  force  from  territory 
claimed  as  British.  Lawrence's  superiors  evidently  did  not  agree  with  him,  that 
occupation  of  the  isthmus  was  a  tacit  acknowledgment  of  the  justice  of  the  French 
claim,  for  he  was  sent  back  in  September,  and  he  erected  a  fort  on  what  the  French 
admitted  was  English  territory. 

La  Corne  was  recalled  to  Canada,  and  was  replaced  by  St.  Ours  des  Chai lions 
(October  8),  who,  in  the  following  spring,  began  the  erection  of  a  fort  on  the 
French  position,  which  was  given  the  name  of  Beausejour.1 

Skirmishes  took  place  between  the  English  garrison  and  the  Indians  and 
Acadians.  Captain  How  was  treacherously  murdered,  but  eventually  the 
garrisons  settled  down  to  a  peaceful  and  friendly  existence,  broken  at  times  by 
friction,  cemented  at  others  by  friendly  offices  on  either  side,  and  with  illicit  trade 
as  a  constant  bond.2 

When  Vergor 3  took  charge,  he  at  once  notified  Du  Quesne  that  the  position 
was  not  capable  of  successful  defence  (November  1754). 

Boishebert,  on  the  St.  John,  took  the  same  position  as  La  Corne  when  he 
was  visited  by  Rous,  and  as  successfully  held  it.  Rous,  in  command  of  the 
Albany,  captured  French  vessels  on  the  high  seas.4  This  led  to  friction  and 
reprisals  as  well  as  to  diplomatic  correspondence.5 

The  activities  of  French  and  English  on  the  Ohio  and  the  adjacent  territories 
did  not  reach  a  condition  of  stagnation  as  in  Nova  Scotia,  but  passed  on  to  conflict 
so  serious,  that  in  the  end  of  1754  Great  Britain  took  the  momentous  step  of 
sending  out  regular  troops  to  support  its  Virginian  levies,  repulsed  in  their 
advances  into  the  debatable  land.  Parkman  gives  a  vivid  and  picturesque 
account  of  De  Bienville's  expedition  to  strengthen  the  effective  occupation  of  this 

1  Lawrence's   account  and  that  of  La  Corne  are   printed   in   the  Canadian  Archives  Reforrt,  1905,  vol.  ii.  pp.  320  et 
sty.     There  is  also  in  it  a  Journal  of  the  events,  from  September  1750  to  July  1751,  written  by  De  la  Valliere,  who  was 
detached  from  Louisbourg  with  tifty  picked  men  in  response  to  La  Corne's  appeal  for  reinforcements.      DC  la  Valliere  was 
the  descendant  of  an   Acadian  seigneur,  and  from  the  heights  of  Beausejour  looked   down   on   Isle  la  Valliere,  midway 
between  Beausejour  and  Fort  Lawrence,  once  the  home  of  his  family. 

2  The  building  of  Beausejour  proceeded  very  slowly.      After  La  Corne  (i~49-5o),  its  commandants  were:   St.  Ours 
des  Chaillons  (1-50-51),  De  Vassin  (1751-53),  DC  la  Martiniere  (1753-54),  and  De  Vergor  du  Chambon  (1754-55). 

3  He  was  the  son  of  the  Governor  of  Louisbourg  in  1745,  and  it  was  through  his  lack  of  vigilance  that  Wolfe's  army 
gained  its  foothold  on  the  plains  of  Abraham. 

4  They  were  returned. 

5  The   first   four  vessels  which   arrived    in    Louisbourg  in    1751   were    seized   and   eventually  sold  (C.O.    117/395 
Captains'  Letters,  vol.  2382). 


territory  by  France,  as  well  as  some  description  of  the  forts  and  settlements  which 
previously  existed.1 

It  is  not  necessary  to  carry  further  the  narrative  of  events  elsewhere  than  in 
Isle  Royale.  Louisbourg  had  felt  only  the  indirect  effects  of  these  occurrences, 
for  it  was  so  unquestionably  a  French  possession,  that  any  action  against  it  was 
not  considered  within  the  scope  of  British  operations. 

The  transfer  of  Isle  Royale  and  its  dependencies  to  France  had  been  made 
without  difficulty.  Charles  des  Herbiers,  Sieur  de  la  Raliere,  a  naval  captain  of 
distinction,  was  chosen  as  French  Commissioner  and  Governor,  and  furnished 
with  voluminous  instructions,  which  included  drafts  of  the  letters  he  was  to 
write.  He  left  France  with  the  men-of-war  Tigre  and  Intrepide,  which  con- 
voyed transports,  carrying  about  five  hundred  troops  from  Isle  de  Rhe  and 
civilian  inhabitants  of  Isle  Royale.  The  frigate  Anemone  was  dispatched  after 
him  to  make  more  imposing  his  important  mission. 

On  the  29th  of  June  1749  the  Tigre  was  a  league  off  Louisbourg.  Des 
Herbiers  transcribed  his  model  letter  to  Hopson,  its  Governor,  and  sent  it  into 
the  town  by  two  officers.  He  chose  as  his  envoys  Des  Cannes  and  Loppinot, 
both  of  whom  had  been  officers  in  its  former  garrison.2  At  noon  the  next  day 
the  flotilla  entered  the  harbour  and  exchanged  salutes  with  the  shore  batteries. 
That  afternoon  Des  Herbiers  and  his  staff  were  received  with  all  the 
honours,  by  Hopson  and  his  officers.  There  were  difficulties  about  the  trans- 
port of  the  British  troops  and  people  and  other  minor  matters.  In  the  end  they 
were  satisfactorily  settled.  The  opportune  arrival  of  Cornwallis  at  Halifax  set 
free  British  transports  which  came  to  Louisbourg.  They  were  supplemented 
by  French  ships,  and  so  effectively  were  the  arrangements  made  and  carried 
out,  that  on  the  23rd  of  July  Des  Herbiers  marched  into  the  town,  and  received 
its  keys  from  Hopson.  The  French  flag  replaced  that  of  England  over  the 
citadel  and  batteries.  Hopson  received  a  certificate  that  the  transfer  was 
complete  and  satisfactory,  and  the  English  forces  and  people  withdrew  to 

The  English  ships  did  not  begin  to  sail,  however,  till  the  3Oth,  and  the 
Te  Deum  for  the  return  of  peace  was  deferred,  out  of  consideration  for  them, 
until  August  3.3 

1  See  Montcalm  and  ffolfe,  chap.  ii.     On  colonial  wars  and  reprisals,  see  Corbett,  vol.  i.  p.  24. 

2  Des  Cannes  was  to  be  major  and  Loppinot  adjutant  of  the  troops  in  the  new  establishment  (B,  90,  p.  42). 

3  Des  Herbiers'  account  of   the   transfer  is   printed   in   Quebec   MSS.  vol.    3,  pp.  439  et  seq.     He  acknowledges 
handsomely  in  it  the  courtesy  of  Hopson,  and  the  zeal  and  efficiency  of  his  own  officers.     The  French  version  of  the 
certificate  is  given  in  Canadian  Archives,  vol.  ii.,  1905,  p.  282.     See  also  R.O.  France,  vol.  233.     The  difference  in  the 
calendars  used  by  the  French  and  English,  accounts  for  the  apparent  discrepancy  of  eleven  days  in  all  dates  up  to  1752. 

An  incident  shows  the  disorders  to  which  such  upheavals  of  population  tend.  On  the  27th  of  July  was  baptized,  and 
no  doubt  cared  for,  an  English  child  aged  about  three  months,  abandoned  by  parents  of  whom  the  new-comers  could  find 
no  trace  : 


The  same  care  to  make  prosperous  and  safe  the  returned  colony  as  to 
provide  for  its  proper  transfer  was  shown  by  the  Minister.  Bigot,  who  had 
gained  with  Rouille,  now  Minister  of  the  Navy,  the  same  standing  as  he  had 
held  with  Maurepas,  was  sent  to  Louisbourg  to  reorganize  the  civil  service.  On 
his  recommendation,  Prevost,  who  had  been  his  chief  clerk,  succeeded  him  as 
Commissaire-Ordonnateur.  Bigot  went  there  on  the  Diane,  and  for  some  weeks 
gave  Des  Herbiers  and  Prevost  the  benefit  of  his  great  abilities.1 

The  former  inhabitants  returned  from  Canada  and  France.  They  found 
the  houses  in  poor  condition,  as  but  few  of  them  had  been  repaired  by  the 
English  during  their  occupation.  Bigot  ordered  two  hundred  cows  for  distribu- 
tion among  the  people,  and  for  two  years  they  were  supplied  with  rations  from 
the  King's  stores.  The  fishing  was  good,  but  they  were  hampered  by  a  lack  of 
boats.  They  did  their  best  to  make  up  for  the  deficiency,  by  buying  the  boats 
of  the  departing  English  and  by  activities  in  the  building  yard.  Ninety  to  one 
hundred  boats  were  built  by  October,  and  many  were  still  on  the  ways.  The 
French  who  had  remained  during  the  English  occupation 2  sold  boats  to  the 
new-comers,  and  row-boats  and  canoes  were  used  as  substitutes  for  fishing-boats. 

The  partly  cured  cod  of  the  English  merchants  was  bought  by  the  French, 
but,  even  with  the  abundant  fisheries,  there  was  too  small  a  catch  to  load  the 
unusual  number  of  ships  which  had  come  out  from  France.  The  merchants  of 
Louisbourg,  as  well  as  the  shipowners,  pressed  Prevost  for  permission  to  buy 
from  the  English.  Notwithstanding  the  justice  of  the  request,  and  the  hardships 
involved,  he  refused,  but,  with  a  frankness  in  which  he  imitated  Bigot,  he  adds 
that  in  the  confusion  of  the  new  settlement  it  is  probable  some  infractions  of  the 
laws  against  trade  with  the  English  took  place.3 

An  augmented  garrison,  twenty-four  companies  of  fifty  men  each  and  a 
company  of  artillery,  were  placed  at  Louisbourg  and  its  dependencies.  This 
force  was  made  up  from  new  companies  formed  for  the  purpose,  and  the  old 
companies,  which  had  been  in  Canada  since  their  return  from  the  English 
prisons,  after  the  defeat  of  La  Jonquiere  by  Anson.  Instructions  to  Des  Herbiers 


"This  27th  day  of  the  month  of  July,  1749,  I,  the  undersigned,  have  baptized  conditionally  a  young  English  girl  about 
three  month*  old  found  in  Louisbourg  when  we  arrived  from  France  and  took  possession  of  the  said  town,  without  our 
having  to  be  able  to  ascertain  anything  of  her  father  or  her  mother.  Godfather  and  Godmother  were  Gilles  Lemoine  and 
Angelique  Lestrange,  who  gave  her  the  name  of  Angelique,  as  witnesses  thereof  they  signed  in  the  Royal  Chapel  of  Saint 
Louis,  the  Parish  Church,  for  the  time  being,  of  Louisbourg,  on  the  same  day  and  year  as  above. 

X  the  Godfather's  sign. 
"  Angelique  Lestrangc,  P.  Pichot. 

"Fr.  Isodore  Caubct,  R.R.,  officiating  for  the  Reverend  Father  Superior." 
(Etat  Ci%-il  Louisbourg,  1746-1752,  f.  179,  pp.  6--.) 

1  Bigot  was  in  Louisbourg  from  about  the  time  of  Des  Herbiers'  arrival  until  August  21.  He  then  went  to  Quebec. 
Bigot  succeeded  Hocquart  as  Intendant  of  Canada  in  March  1748. 

J  In  all,  94  people.  s  Cn,  vol.  28,  f.  1 60. 


recounted  the  abuses  which  had  created  such  disorder  among  the  troops  before 
the  capture  of  the  town,  and  asked  for  such  reorganization  as  would  remedy  these 
evils.  The  most  important  step  he  took  in  this  direction  was  the  suppression  of 
the  canteens  kept,  as  a  perquisite,  by  the  captains,  recognizing  as  legal  only  that  of 
the  Major.  In  the  meantime  Des  Herbiers  received  Franquet,  an  engineer  of 
distinction,  who  was  sent  out  to  Louisbourg  as  director-general  of  the  fortifications. 
The  Marquis  de  Chabert,  detached  from  sea  duty,  was  instructed  to  correct  the 
maps  of  Acadia,  Isle  Royale,  and  Newfoundland,  and  to  fix  by  astronomical 
observations  the  principal  points  therein.  He  made  Louisbourg  his  headquarters 
in  1751-52,  and  the  results  of  his  labours,  endorsed  by  the  Royal  Academy  of 
Sciences  and  by  the  Academic  de  Marine,  were  printed  in  a  handsome  volume 
in  1753^ 

The  ordinary  courtesies  were  exchanged  with  Cornwallis  at  Halifax.  Good 
feeling  on  the  part  of  Cornwallis  was  further  marked  by  his  co-operation  in 
sending  to  Louisbourg  the  body  of  the  Due  d'Anville.  Le  Grand  St.  Esprit 
bore  it  from  Chibuctou  to  French  territory,  and,  with  fitting  ceremony,  it  was 
reinterred  at  the  foot  of  the  high  altar  in  the  chapel  of  the  citadel.2 

The  general  instructions  of  the  Minister  were  to  co-operate  with  La 
Jonquiere  in  maintaining  the  rights  of  France  to  the  disputed  territory,  to  repel 
force  by  force,3  and  to  harass,  by  the  Indians,  the  new  settlement  in  Halifax, 
but  to  do  so  secretly.  He  was  also  directed  to  encourage  the  settlement  of 
Acadians  on  Isle  St.  Jean,  many  of  whom  had  been  driven  from  their  homes 
by  the  disturbed  state  of  the  border-land,  and  the  menaces  of  the  Indians  against 
those  who  remained  on  British  territory.  They  readily  passed  over  to  the  island 
in  such  numbers  that  its  population  rapidly  increased.  The  instructions  to  the 
Governors  of  Isle  Royale  and  of  Canada  as  to  their  dealings  with  the  English 
might  be  quoted  many  times.  One  memorandum  dated  August  29,  1749,  shall 
suffice,  as  it  sets  forth  the  policy  of  France.  It  was  read  to  the  King,  its  apostille 
states,  and  presumably  received  his  sanction,  for  the  policy  it  lays  down  was 
not  departed  from.  After  stating  briefly  the  advantages  to  England  and  the 
disadvantages  to  Isle  Royale,  in  particular,  of  the  settlement  of  Nova  Scotia,  it 
goes  on  : 

"  Such  are,  in  general,  the  unfortunate  consequences  which  will  necessarily  spring  from 
these  projects  if  the  English  can  succeed  in  accomplishing  them.  As  it  is  impossible  to 
openly  oppose  them,  for  they  are  within  their  rights  in  making  in  Acadia  such  settlements 
as  they  see  fit,  as  long  as  they  do  not  pass  its  boundaries,  there  remains  for  us  only  to 
bring  against  them  as  many  indirect  obstacles  as  can  be  done  without  comprising  ourselves, 
and  to  take  steps  to  protect  ourselves  against  plans  which  the  English  can  consider  through 
the  success  of  these  settlements. 

1  Franquet  and  Chabert  were  fellow-passengers  on  the  Mutine,  which  sailed  from  Brest,  June  29,  1750. 
2  Sept.  3,  1746,  Quebec  MSS.,  3,  p.  455.  3  To  Des  Herbiers,  Sept.  n,  1750,  B,  vol.  91,  p.  49. 

1 9o  RELATIONS  WITH  THE  ENGLISH         1749,1758 

"  The  only  method  we  can  employ  to  bring  into  existence  these  obstacles  is  to  make 
the  savages  of  Acadia  and  its  borders  feel  how  much  it  is  to  their  advantage  to  prevent  the 
English  fortifying  themselves,  to  bind  them  to  oppose  it  openly,  and  to  excite  the  Acadians 
to  support  the  Indians  in  their  opposition  (to  the  English)  in  so  far  as  they  can  do  without 
discovery.  The  missionaries  of  both  have  instructions  and  are  agreeable  to  act  in 
accordance  with  these  views."  l 

A  fortnight  before  this  memorandum  was  prepared  for  the  King,  Des 
Herbiers  and  Prevost  wrote  from  Louisbourg  (August  15,  1749)  that  the  Abbe 
Le  Loutre  was  carrying  out  this  policy.  Bigot  had  given  him,  as  supplementary 
to  the  ordinary  presents  to  the  Indians,  cloth,  blankets,  powder  and  ball,  in  case 
they  might  wish  to  disturb  the  English  in  their  settlement  in  Halifax.  "  It  was 
this  missionary's  task  to  induce  them  to  do  so." 

The  history  of  these  wretched  years  on  the  border-land  shows  with  what 
ardour,  self-sacrifice,  and  cruelty  he  encouraged  the  Indians  under  his  charge  to 
carry  out  instructions  which  had  the  Royal  sanction.3  In  this  course  the  priest 
was  not  alone.  Young  Des  Bourbes  gave  Surlaville,  April  15,  1756,  a  budget 
of  news  from  Louisbourg  containing  this  passage  : 

"Four  savages,  two  Abenaquis  and  two  Miquemacs,  arrived  here  from  Quebec,  on  the 
3 ist  of  March.  They  informed  us  that  a  band  of  outaouvis  and  chaouenons  had  raided 
Virginia,  they  took  about  600  scalps,  burnt  many  villages,  and  took  five  hundred  prisoners, 
all  women  and  children.  .  .  .  On  the  2nd  of  April  our  Governor  feasted  these  savages  ; 
they  danced  before  him  and  presented  him  with  a  dozen  scalps,  taken  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Chibouctou  ;  they  were  handsomely  paid  for  their  journey  and  given  several  presents 
besides."  * 

This   continued   during   the    season,    for    Du  Fresne    du    Motel  wrote  on    the 
ist  December  : 

"  Our  savages  have  taken  a  number  of  English  scalps,  their  terror  of  these  natives  is 
unequalled,  they  are  so  frightened  that  they  dare  not  leave  the  towns  or  forts  without 
detachments,  with  the  protection  of  these  they  go  out  for  what  is  absolutely  needed."  5 

Des  Herbiers  had  accepted  with  reluctance  the  post  of  Commissioner  and 

1    French  text  in  Can.  Arch.  vol.  ii.  p.  292.  2  «'  Ce  missionaire  doit  les  y  engager." 

3  Vol.  28,  f.  1 60.     It  was  later  felt  at  Court  that   Le  Loutre  must  be  restrained.     The  Minister  wrote  him  on 
Aug.  27,  1751,  that  he  must  not  give  the  English  any  just  cause  of  complaint,  although  he  praises   Le  Loutre 's  wisdom 
in  this  respect. 

4  "{,>uatre  sauvages,  dont  deux  Abenaquis  et  deux  Miquemacs,  arriverent  icy,  de  Quebec,  le   31  mars.     lit  nous  ont 
appris  qu'une  partie  de  sauvages  outaouvis  et  chaouenons,  avoient  fait  coup  sur  la  Virginie,  qu'ils  avoient  leve  environ  six 
cents  chevelures,  brusle  plusieurs  villages  et  cmmene  cinq   cents  prisonniers,  tous  femmes  et  enfants.  ...   Le  2  avril, 
notre  Gouvcrneur  regala  ces  sauvages,  ils  danserent  et  luy  presentment  une  douraine  dc  chevelures  qu'ils  ont  faitcs  aux 
environs   dc   Chibouctou  j  on    leur   a  payc   leur  voiage  fort    grassement   et    fait,  en  outre,  plusieurs    presents ''   (Dernieri 
Jours,  etc.  p.  187). 

8  "  Nos  sauvage*  ont  beaucoup  leve  de  chevelures  anglaises,  qui  (sic)  ont  une  terreur  sans  6gal  dc  ces  naturels  du  pais, 
dont  ils  sont  si  cfFreics  qu'ils  n'osent  sortir  de  leurs  villes  ou  forts,  sans  avoir  de»  detachments  a  la  faveur  desquels  ils  vont 
chercher  leurs  besoins  les  plus  urgcnts"  (Dtrniers  Jours,  etc.  p.  205).  (For  the  English  use  of  Indian  methods  tee 


Governor,  and  as  soon  as  his  functions  as  the  first  were  finished,  he  began  to 
press  for  leave  to  return  to  sea  duty.1  The  Minister  was  not  ready  to  make  a 
change  until  1751.  The  Minister  then  named  as  Des  Herbiers' successor  the 
Comte  de  Raymond,  Seigneur  d'Oye,  Lieut.-Colonel  of  the  Vexin  Regiment ;  so 
for  the  first  time  a  military  officer  governed  Isle  Royale.  To  add  weight  to  the 
position  Raymond  was  promoted  to  the  grade  of  Marechal  de  Camp  (Major- 
General),  and,  to  give  effectiveness  to  his  administration  on  its  military  side,  he 
was  accompanied  by  Surlaville,  Colonel  of  the  Grenadiers  of  France,  to  whom 
was  given  the  position  of  Major  of  the  troops  and  the  commission  of  disciplining 
them,  as  well  as  to  report  on  the  coasts  of  the  island  and  Acadia.2 

Raymond  set  forth  from  Angoul£me,  of  which  town  and  its  castle  he  had 
been  the  King's  Lieutenant,  towards  the  end  of  May,  embarked  on  L'Heureux, 
and,  after  a  voyage  of  fifty  days,  landed  in  Louisbourg  on  the  3rd  of  August 
1751.  He  took  over  the  reins  of  government,  and  at  once  Des  Herbiers 
returned  to  France  by  the  same  ship.3 

There  was  thus  a  girding  of  the  loins  in  the  bureaux  of  the  French 
Admiralty,  when  Louisbourg  was  again  under  its  care.  Stores  were  abundantly 
supplied.  The  arts  of  peace  were  fostered  by  the  expedition  of  the  Marquis 
Chabert.  The  presence  of  an  engineer  of  such  eminence  as  Franquet,  of  a 
soldier  of  such  experience  as  Surlaville,  the  raising  of  the  garrison  until  it 
approached  in  number  that  of  Canada,4  showed  that  a  high  value  was  set  on 
Louisbourg  and  its  security. 

Raymond  was  an  active  man,  who  made  many  efforts  to  improve  the 
colony.  He  visited  its  various  ports  and  those  of  Isle  St.  Jean.  He  established 
settlements  on  the  Mire  River,  he  was  interested  in  the  crops,  and  looked  with 
optimistic  eye  on  the  yields  of  cereals  in  the  rude  clearings  of  the  settlers.  He 
also  proposed  the  building  of  redoubts  and  the  opening  of  roads  which  were 
strongly  opposed  by  Franquet,  Surlaville,  and  the  home  authorities.5  He  was 
apparently  vain,  for  he  bought  the  property  of  St.  Ovide,  and  desired  it  should 
be  erected  into  a  seigneury  and  countship.  While  his  administration  was 
apparently  honest,  his  request  for  a  gratuity  of  20,000  livres  so  astonished  the 
Minister  that  in  Raymond's  own  interest  he  did  not  put  it  before  the  King.6 

He  was  fully  alive  to  the  ceremonial  side  of  his  functions,  and  found  an 

1  In  this  he  brought  to  bear  the  influence  of  his  distinguished  kinsman,  De  1'Etanduere. 

3  An  outbreak  took  place  in  the  small  garrison  of  Pt.  Toulouse  in  1750.     See  vol.  29,  p.  369." 

8  Raymond  brought  with  him,  as  secretary,  one  Thomas  Pichon,  a  native  of  Vire  in  Normandy,  to  whom  we  owe 
the  Lettrei  et  memoires  pour  serttir  h  fhistoire  naturelle,  civile  et  politique  de  Cap  Breton,  published  La  Haye,  1760,  and 
London,  an  engaging  and  valuable  book.  He  was  able  and  brilliant,  but  his  papers  in  the  library  at  Vire,  and  those 
from  his  hand  known  as  the  Tyrell  papers,  preserved  in  Halifax,  show  him  as  a  libertine,  and  a  spy,  completely 
selfish  and  sordid. 

4  Louisbourg,  1200  ;  Canada,  1500.  8  Derniers  jfours,  etc.  p.  14. 
8  According  to  Prevost,  Raymond  overdrew  his  account  26,417  1.  (C11,  vol.  33). 


opportunity    for    ingratiating    himself  with    the    Court    in    the  instructions  he 
received  to  have  a  Te  Deum  sung  for  the  birth  of  the  Due  de  Bourgogne  : 

"  On  Sunday  i8th  of  May  this  important  news  was  announced  at  day-break  by  a  salute 
from  all  the  artillery  of  the  place  and  the  King's  ships,  the  frigates,  Fldele  and  the  Chariot 
Roya/y  which  had  dressed  ship. 

"M.  le  Comte  de  Raymond  gave  a  dinner  to  the  staff,  the  engineers,  the  officers  of 
artillery,  and  to  the  other  principal  officers,  to  the  Conseil  Superieur,  the  Baillage,  the 
Admiralty,  and  to  the  ladies  of  the  place. 

"  He  had  two  tables  with  50  covers,  served  in  four  courses,  with  as  much  lavishness  as 
elegance.  They  drank  in  turn  freely  every  kind  of  wine  of  the  best  brands,  to  the  health 
of  the  King,  Queen,  the  Dauphin,  Mme.  la  Dauphine,  M.  le  due  de  Bourgogne,  and  to  the 
Royal  Princesses. 

"  Many  guns  were  fired,  and  the  band  increased  the  pleasure  of  the  f£te. 

"  About  6  o'clock,  after  leaving  the  table,  they  repaired  to  the  King's  chapel  to  hear 
vespers.  At  the  close  of  the  service,  the  Te  Deum  was  sung  to  the  accompaniment  of  all 
the  artillery  of  the  town  and  of  the  ships. 

"  They  then  went  in  a  procession,  as  is  the  custom  in  the  colonies,  to  the  Esplanade  of 
the  Maurepas  gate. 

"  The  governor  there  lit  a  bonfire  which  he  had  had  prepared  ;  the  troops  of  the 
garrison,  drawn  up  on  the  ramparts  and  the  covered  way,  fired  with  the  greatest  exactness, 
three  volleys  of  musketry,  and  the  artillery  did  the  same.  After  this  ceremony,  the 
Governor  distributed  several  barrels  of  his  own  wine  to  the  troops  and  to  the  public. 

"The  'Vive  le  Roi '  was  so  frequently  repeated,  that  no  one  could  doubt  that  the 
hearts  of  the  townspeople,  the  troops,  and  the  country  folk,  which  this  festival  had 
attracted,  were  truly  French. 

"  He  had  given  such  good  orders  in  establishing  continual  patrols  in  command  of 
officers,  that  no  disorder  was  committed. 

"  About  9  in  the  evening,  the  governor  and  all  his  guests  went  to  see  set  off  the  fire- 
works and  a  great  number  of  rockets,  which  he  had  prepared,  and  were  very  well  done. 

"  On  his  return  home,  the  ball  was  opened,  and  lasted  till  dawn  ;  all  kinds  of  refresh- 
ments, and  in  abundance,  were  handed  round.  His  house  was  illuminated  with  lanterns 
placed  all  round  the  windows,  looking  on  the  rue  Royale  and  the  rue  Toulouse. 

"  Three  porticoes,  with  four  pyramids,  adorned  by  triple  lanterns  and  wreaths  of 
flowers,  rare  for  such  a  cold  climate,  were  erected  opposite  the  rue  Royale. 

"At  the  opposite  angle,  where  the  two  roads  cross,  two  other  pyramids  were  also 
illuminated  ;  and  on  the  frontal  of  the  three  porticoes  were  painted  the  arms  of  the  King, 
the  Dauphin,  and  the  Due  de  Bourgogne. 

"  At  the  end  of  the  same  street,  opposite  the  three  porticoes,  were  also  represented,  by 
means  of  lanterns,  three  large  fleurs  de  lys  and  a  '  Vive  le  Roi,'  very  visibly  placed  on  a 
border  above. 

"  Between  these  two  principal  illuminations  is  situated  the  large  gate  of  the  Government 
House,  which  was  also  adorned  at  the  columns  and  cornices,  by  triple  lanterns ;  above  was 
the  King's  portrait. 

"  All  round  the  courtyard  there  were  also  fire  pots  and  triple  lanterns,  as  high  as  the 
retaining  wall  of  the  garden.  These  illuminations  were  charming  in  their  effect  and  lasted 


till  the  end  of  the  ball ;  all  the  houses  in  the  town  were  also  lit  up  as  well  as  the  frigate 
la  Fidele. 

"  The  government  house  being  too  small  to  accommodate  all  the  distinguished  members 
of  the  colony,  M.  le  Comte  Raymond  gave  a  big  dinner  the  next  day  to  the  clergy  and  the 
Sunday  following  to  several  ladies,  officers,  and  others  who  had  not  attended  the  first  fe"te. 

"  It  can  be  said  that  the  Governor  spared  nothing  for  these  festivities  and  that  he  gave 
on  that  happy  occasion  very  evident  proof  of  a  rare  generosity."  l 

This  account  is  anonymous  but  it  so  closely  resembles,  both  in  style  and 
self-praising,  the  other  writings  of  Raymond,  that  there  seems  no  doubt  it  is 
his.  It  accounts  in  part  for  the  overdrawing  of  his  salary,  of  which  Prevost 

In  spite  of  his  good  will,  his  activities  were  ineffective.  He  found  the 
difficulties  of  his  position  excessive,  for  he  alienated  all  with  whom  he  had  to 
work.  Prevost  had  many  griefs  against  him.  Page  after  page  of  Raymond's 
memoirs  and  letters  are  annotated  by  the  bitter  and  often  unjust  pen  of  Surlaville, 
whose  pocket  he  had  touched  in  the  disposition  of  the  canteens. 

He  dismissed  Pichon  on  account  of  an  affair  of  gallantry,  which  the  latter 
resented,  as  quite  outside  the  Governor's  province,  for  in  his  view  a  tender 
heart  was  perfectly  compatible  with  official  capacity.  Pichon  became  his  bitter 
enemy,  and  later  wrote  in  substance  that  his  former  patron  was  "  perhaps  the 
most  foolish  of  all  animals  on  two  feet."  2  Raymond  gave  him  a  certificate, 
however,  on  the  loth  of  October  1753,  that  he  had  discharged  his  duties  with 
"  all  the  intelligence,  fidelity,  exactitude,  and  disinterestedness  possible." 

Surlaville's  administration  was  apparently  effective.  He  lost  no  time  in 
beginning  his  duties,  but  the  material  he  had  to  work  on  was  not  promising. 
He  visited  the  fortifications  the  day  following  their  landing  and  the  official 
reception  of  Raymond  which  took  place  at  Prevost's  house.  The  works  were 
in  a  worse  state  than  he  imagined.  When  he  held  a  review,  the  troops 
performed  their  evolutions  badly,  some  of  them  did  not  know  how  to  handle  or 
carry  a  gun,  they  were  noisy  in  the  ranks,  their  uniforms  were  worn  and  dirty, 
and  were  badly  put  on.  Surlaville  increased  the  number  of  drills  and  made  the 
cadets  take  part  in  them.  He  enforced  the  rules  about  coming  into  barracks 
at  night,  and  in  a  few  days  was  able  to  note  some  improvements.8 

The  improvements  instituted  continued,  for,  although  Johnstone  found  the 
works  "  with  more  the  look  of  Antient  Ruins  than  of  a  modern  fortification," 

1  This  anonymous  account  is  dated  May  28,  1752,  but  we  cannot  vouch  for  it  being  an  official  date.  See 
Moreau  St.  Mery,  vol.  50,  pp.  420-423.  2  Tyrell  Papers,  N.S.  Archives,  vol.  341. 

3  Surlaville  went  as  the  official  representative  of  Raymond  to  announce  to  Cornwallis  his  arrival  in  Isle  Royale,  and 
brought  back  a  full  statement  of  the  military  and  civil  conditions  at  Halifax.  The  impression  he  made  there  found  an 
echo  on  the  frontier,  for  the  English  officers  at  Fort  Lawrence  sought  to  obtain  from  the  French  at  Beausejour  con- 
firmation that  the  functions  of  Surlaville  at  Louisbourg  portended  war  (Derniers  Jours,  etc.  p.  31). 



he  also  bears  testimony  that  "  the  service  was  performed  at  Louisbourg  with  as 
much  regularity  as  in  any  fortified  place  in  Europe.  .  .  .  This  made  the  town  to 
be  looked  upon  as  the  Athens  of  the  French  colonies."1 

Surlaville  endeavoured  to  enforce  the  regulations  made  by  Des  Herbiers 
and  Prevost  (October  10,  1749)  establishing  the  price  which  soldiers  should 
be  charged  for  articles  supplied  by  their  officers,  and  made  a  strong  statement 
of  the  defects  of  the  uniforms  worn  by  the  troops.  The  cloth  and  linen  were 
poor  in  quality  and  badly  made,  the  shoes  were  thin,  and  it  cost  a  private  six 
months'  wages  to  buy  a  new  pair.  He  rightly  thought  white  was  a  bad  colour 
for  uniforms,  as  it  soon  got  dirty,  and  the  soldier  himself  followed  it.  The 
strictures  on  the  clothing  supplied  for  the  barracks,  in  which  the  men  slept 
two  and  two  in  unclean  box  beds,  and  on  the  exactions  of  their  officers,  make 
quite  credible  his  statement  that  their  recruits  were  drawn  from  the  dregs 
of  the  people,  for  such  service  could  not  attract  the  self-respecting  or  the 

Surlaville  also  busied  himself  in  trying  to  improve  the  condition  of  the 
officers,  by  economies  in  the  lighting  and  heating,  and  to  benefit  both  officers 
and  men  by  a  better  canteen  system.  He  also  dealt  ably  with  the  purchase  of 
the  King's  stores.  His  memoranda  on  these  subjects  show  that  he  was  an  active 
and  intelligent  officer,  who  remained  in  Isle  Royale  too  short  a  time  to  carry 
into  effect  any  serious  part  of  the  reforms  he  saw  there  necessary.3 

The  improvement  in  the  troops,  which  unquestionably  existed,  even  if  less 
marked  than  that  described  by  Johnstone,  had  been  helped,  not  only  by  the 
attention  given  to  it  by  the  home  authorities,  but  by  the  new  elements  introduced 
into  the  garrison.  The  new  companies  were  officered  in  the  main  by  subalterns 
of  the  regiments  disbanded  at  the  Peace.  These  gentlemen  had  served  in  good 
regiments  in  the  campaigns  of  Germany  and  the  Netherlands,  and  brought  to 
Isle  Royale  standards  and  a  point  of  view  different  from  those  of  the  "  family  " 
officers  who  had  alone  held  these  positions  before  this  time.  There  was  also 
more  interchange  with  Canada,  arising  from  the  alternating  garrisons  of 
Louisbourg  and  Canada  at  Beausejour  and  Fort  Gaspareaux,  its  dependent 
establishment  on  the  Gulf  side  of  the  isthmus  of  Chignecto. 

These  years  were  for  the  inhabitants  of  Louisbourg  probably  the  best  they 
had  ever  seen.  It  was  obvious  that  the  settlement  was  valued  by  the  Government, 

1  Johnstone  ascribes  this  to  Des  Herbiers.     Quebec  MSS.    3,  p.  482.     Des  Herbiers  says  he  set  for  Louisbourg  the 
standard  of  a  French  fortress. 

2  The  following  sums  up  his  criticisms  :   (i)  cloth  too   thin  ;   (2)   badly  cut  and  costly  to  make  over  ;  (3)  white  bad 
colour;  (4)  stockings  bad;  (5)  shoes  thin;   (6)   paying  only  once  a  year   bad;   (7)  only  three  sizes  of  gaiters  sent  out, 
making  many  misfits  ;  (8)  hats  bad  ;   (9)  no  distinguishing  marks  for  corporals  ;  (10)   bad   linen  for  shirts  ;  (n)  should 
have  caps,  ami  (12)  black  instead  of  white  collars  (Pap.  Surlaville  in  Laval  Univ.,  Quebec). 

3  Papicrs  Surlaville.      His  comments  on  letters  of  Raymond  and   others  show  him  as  a  severe  and  meticulous  critic. 
His  collection  of  sixty-six  "sottises"  of  Raymond,  if  alone  preserved,  would  indicate  that  he  was  a  malevolent  trifler. 


and  this  gave  confidence  to  the  people.  The  expenditure  was  large  ;  the  fisheries 
in  some  of  these  years  gave  an  abundant  yield.  Commerce  flourished  ;  many 
vessels  were  built  and  bought  from  New  England.1  And  while  smuggling 
vessels  were  condemned  and  sold,  it  is  not  probable  that  these  seizures  seriously 
interfered  with  the  trade.  The  official  statements  show  that  it  was  large,  and 
Surlaville  says,  in  one  of  his  notes,  that  these  were  untrustworthy  in  minimizing 
the  imports  from  New  England.  The  trade  with  Canada  largely  consisted  in 
French  and  foreign  goods,  and  that  with  New  England,  of  products  of  the 
West  Indies. 

The  Governors  promoted  the  settlement  of  Acadians  in  Isle  St.  Jean,  and 
Baie  des  Espagnols  (Sydney)  and  other  points  in  Cape  Breton,  returned  and 
received  deserters  from  Nova  Scotia,  and  on  the  whole  kept  on  terms  of  courtesy 
with  its  Governor.  Raymond  retired  from  the  Governorship  in  1753,  and  was 
succeeded  by  the  Chevalier  Augustin  Drucour,  who  came  in  1754,  and  was  but 
little  more  than  installed  in  his  office  when  occurrences  in  the  west  produced  a 
condition  in  which  war  seemed  inevitable. 

The  British  Cabinet  followed  the  news  of  the  defeat  of  Washington  at 
Fort  Necessity  (July  1754)  by  a  decision  to  reinforce  the  American  colonists, 
driven  again,  as  a  consequence  of  this  French  victory,  to  the  eastward  of  the 
Alleghanies.  General  Braddock  was  ordered  to  America  with  two  regiments  of 
the  line.  Newcastle  hoped  that  this  might  be  done  secretly,  but  it  was  made 
public  by  the  War  Office,  and  was  soon  known  in  France.  The  action  of 
England  in  pressing  her  rights  to  the  debatable  land  has  been  noted.2  The 
French  were  now  to  be  driven  from  all  positions  which  they  held  on  it,  by 
expeditions  against  Beausejour,  Crown  Point,  Oswego,  and  the  Ohio.  Never- 
theless Newcastle  urged  Lord  Albemarle,  the  British  Ambassador  at  Paris,  to 
assure  the  French  Ministry  that  the  sending  out  of  Braddock  was  purely  a 
defensive  measure.  The  French  determined  on  their  side  to  dispatch  forces  to 
Canada  and  Louisbourg.  For  the  latter  point  two  battalions,  the  second  of  the 
regiments  of  Artois  and  Bourgogne,  were  embarked  at  Brest  on  April  15,  I755-3 
These  forces  and  the  four  battalions  for  Canada  were  in  excess  of  the  forces 
previously  sent  out  under  Braddock,  but  as  it  was  a  move  of  the  same  kind, 
and  but  little  greater  in  number,  it  does  not  seem  that  the  British  Ministers 
were  justified  in  finding  it  as  offensive  as  they  did.  Parliament  had  acquiesced 
in  the  King's  "  securing  his  just  rights  and  possessions  in  America,"  and  voted 
him  a  million  to  that  end.  The  Cabinet,  fortified  by  the  public  feeling,  which 
Mirepoix,  the  French  Ambassador  at  London,  recognized  as  bellicose,  determined 
to  send  a  squadron  to  cruise  off  Louisbourg,  with  instructions  to  "  fall  upon  any 

1  In  1749  there  were  twenty-four,  of  which  three  were  for  the  West  Indies. 
2  Ante,  p.  183.  s  Arch.  Guerre,  vol.  3404,  89. 


French  ships  of  war  that  shall  be  attempting  to  land  troops  in  Nova  Scotia  or 
to  go  to  Cape  Breton  or  through  the  St.  Lawrence  to  Quebec." 

The  strength  of  this  squadron  was  first  fixed  at  seven  ships,  but  as  the 
gravity  of  the  step  impressed  itself  upon  the  Cabinet,  its  number  was  afterwards 
increased  to  fifteen.  Its  command  was  given  to  the  Hon.  Edward  Boscawen. 
He  had  seen  service  under  Anson  and  Vernon,  and  had  been  the  commander-in- 
chief  of  the  fleet  in  Indian  waters  in  1749,  when  the  results  were  in  favour 
of  Dupleix. 

Mirepoix  was  assured  at  his  own  dining-table  by  Lord  Granville  and  by 
Robinson,2  who  had  just  come  from  Council,  that  "the  information  I  had 
of  the  offensive  orders  given  to  Admiral  Boscawen  was  absolutely  false." 
When  one  remembers  that  Granville  was  the  Minister  who,  "  in  one  of  his 
occasional  bursts  of  strong  rugged  speech  which  came  from  him,  and  a  good 
deal  of  wine  taken  into  him,"  4  objected  to  "  vexing  your  neighbours  for  a  little 
muck," 5  who  also  was  revered  as  a  master  by  Pitt,  it  became  obvious  that 
the  charges  made  by  France  against  the  Punic  faith  of  England  were  not  the 
mere  effervescence  of  Gallic  sensitiveness.  The  Ministry  took  apparently  the 
view  of  Monk  at  the  outbreak  of  the  Dutch  War  in  1665.  "What  matters 
this  or  that  reason  ?  What  we  want  is  more  of  the  trade  the  Dutch  now  have."  a 

The  basis  of  the  orders  given  to  Boscawen  has  been  quoted.  Those  given 
to  the  French  commodore  who  was  to  escort  the  fleet  for  Canada,  off  the  coasts 
of  Europe,  were  in  the  ordinary  terms  : 

"  You  should,  if  possible,  avoid  meeting  English  squadrons.  If  you  do  fall  in  with  them, 
be  on  guard  against  their  manoeuvres,  and  if  they  give  ground  for  supposing  that  they  mean 
to  attack,  I  shall  be  content  that  you  avoid  an  engagement  in  so  far  as  it  is  possible  without 
compromising  the  honour  of  my  flag."7 

The  troops  for  Louisbourg  were  on  the  Defenseur,  Chariot  Royal,  and 
rEsperance,  which  did  not  fall,  like  the  Alcide  and  Lys,  as  captures  to  Boscawen 
off  the  banks,8  but  arrived  safely  at  Louisbourg  on  June  14.  Their  debarka- 
tion was  mostly  effected  by  the  I9th,  although  the  barracks  were  not  ready 
for  them.9 

Admiral  Du  Bois  de  La  Motte  went  to  Quebec  and  returned  by  the  Straits  of 
Belle  Isle,  a  daring  feat,  while  De  Salvert  conducted  the  Louisbourg  ships.10 
Boscawen,  letting  the  French  fleet  slip  through  his  fingers  (with  the  exception 
of  the  Alcide  and  Lys)  in  the  bad  weather  off  the  banks,  hurt  the  standing  of 

1  In  the  Secret  Committee,  March  24  ;  in  Cabinet,  April  10,  1755. 

2  One  of  the  two  Secretaries  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs.  3  Corbett,  p.  46.  4  Carlyle. 

5  Corbett,  vol  i.  p.  61.  "  Jane,  Hereiies  of  Sea- Power,  p.  151.  ~  Waddn.  i.  p.  106. 

8   Boscawen,  post,  p.  206.     Guerre,  3404,  159.  9  Guerre,  3404,  161. 

10  A.N.  Marine,  C1,  170,  sub  nom.  Pellcgrin. 

" '"*':»',  ^ 

...       . 

•  sMfA  Vr~    $<  ^  ^S/;.;;"' 


England,  and  produced  the  minimum  of  damage  to  France.1  After  sending 
his  captures  to  Halifax,  he  cruised  with  his  fleet  off  Louisbourg.2  Many 
captures  were  made,  mostly  of  French  ships  with  provisions,  which  seriously 
curtailed  the  food  supply  of  the  town. 

On  June  18,  the  Somerset,  for  the  second  time,  ran  in  close,  and  the  log 
of  Captain  Geary  reports  that  she  was  fired  on.8  The  Somerset  bore  away,  not 
knowing  the  effect  of  the  shot.  It  was  from  a  gun  on  the  battery  upon  the 
island.  "  On  its  discharge  the  carriage  and  the  platform  flew  into  a  thousand 
pieces,  and  if  the  English  had  known  our  position  their  fleet  might  have  come 
into  the  Harbour  without  any  risk  from  our  batteries  not  having  a  single  cannon 
fit  to  be  fired." 

"  They  might  have  burned  all  the  vessels  in  it  and  battered  the  town  from 
the  harbour,  which  must  have  immediately  surrendered.  But  luckily  for  us  they 
had  no  knowledge  of  our  infirmities."  4 

Thus  Johnstone  describes  the  incident,  and  says  that  it  showed  to  all  "  the 
dismal  situation  of  Louisbourg." 

The  events  elsewhere  in  1755  were  more  important  than  at  Louisbourg. 
To  the  west  of  the  Alleghanies  the  sanguinary  defeat  of  Braddock  threw  the 
command  of  the  region  and  the  alliances  of  its  Indians  to  the  French.  The 
capture  of  Dieskau  at  Lake  George  was  a  barren  victory  for  the  English,  and 
Shirley  tarnished  the  laurels  he  had  won  as  an  administrator  by  his  conduct  of 
the  absolutely  unsuccessful  expedition  against  Niagara.  In  the  east  Beausejour 
and  Gaspereaux  had  fallen.  "  Seven  bombs  which  fell  in  Beausejour  have 
obliged  Vergore  to  yield,"  5  and  the  Acadian  population,  suffering  like  Issachar 
from  the  difficulties  inherent  in  choosing  either  burden,  was  deported. 

The  blockade  of  Louisbourg  roused  Franquet  from  his  lethargy.  Five 
years  had  passed  since  he  had  come  to  the  country.  A  diarist  thus  speaks  of 

1  He  was  dissatisfied  himself  with  the  operation  ;  see  Appendix  at  end  of  this  chapter. 

a  It   consisted    of    fifteen    ships :    Torbay,    Gibraltar,    Terrible,    Grafton,   Augusta,   Monarque,    Yarmouth,   Edinburgh, 
Chichester,  Dunkirk,  Arundel,  Somerset,  Northumberland,  Nottingham,  and  Anson. 
3  On  July  3  Boscawen  left  for  Halifax. 


July  3,  1755. — Boscawen  sailed  from  Louisbourg,  leaving  Mostyn  with  the  Monarch,  Yarmouth,  Chichester,  Edinburgh, 
Dunkirk,  and  Arundel.  To  be  relieved  by  Holburne. 

The  Torbay  was  accompanied  by  the  Somerset,  Northumberland,  Nottingham,  and  Anson,  to  Halifax. 

July  9,  1755. — Mostyn  sailed  from  Louisbourg,  arriving  at  Halifax  on  the  nth. 

Holburne  was  left  off"  Louisbourg  with  the  Terrible,  Grafton,  Defiance,  Augusta,  and  Litchfield.  The  Edinburgh, 
Dunkirk,  and  Arundel  were  to  join  him  in  a  few  days.  They  did  so  on  August  10,  and  the  Success  in  September. 

Seft.  15,  1755. — Holburne  and  his  fleet  entered  Halifax  harbour. 

Oct.  19,  1755. — Boscawen  sailed  from  Halifax  with  Mostyn,  Holburne,  and  fleet. 

(Taken  from  the  logs  of  Torbay  and   Terrible,  and  Boscawen's  letters  to  Cleveland   of  July  4  and    iz   and  Nov. 

'5,  1755)- 

4  De  Salvert's  ships  escaped  Boscawen  and  Holburne,  who  succeeded  him  in  the  station  (Quebec  MSS.  3,  p.  470).' 

5  Derniers  Jours,  p.  146. 

198  THE  ENGLISH   POLICY  1755 

him,  and  what  he  says  perhaps  explains  the  little  Franquet  accomplished  during 
that  time  :  "  He  was  a  man  of  military  experience,  loving  good,  all  his  actions 
tended  towards  it,  an  honest  man,  a  good  citizen,  but  unhappily  a  malady  so 
ravaged  him,  and  had  so  enfeebled  his  bodily  energies,  that  we  find  only  now  and 
again  the  man  he  was." 

Every  observer  is  agreed  that  the  fortifications  were  in  wretched  condition. 
Des  Herbiers,  Surlaville,  Pichon  2  are  all  unanimous.8  Franquet  had  sent  home 
alternative  plans  of  new  works  on  the  scale  of  the  great  frontier  fortresses  of 
Europe,  but  little  had  been  done  to  make  effective  the  existing  defences  until 
Boscawen's  blockade  indicated  the  seriousness  of  affairs. 

In  Europe  the  action  of  England  was  even  more  energetic  and  unscrupulous 
than  in  America.  Three  hundred  French  mechantmen  were  seized  on  the 
high  seas  and  in  English  ports.  France  contented  itself  with  protests,  and 
with  an  accumulation  of  evidence  of  England's  improper  action,  which  her 
Ministers  hoped  would  stir  Spain  to  take  part  with  her  against  the  violator  of 
international  laws.  In  this  she  did  not  succeed,  although  Spain  had  griefs  of 
her  own  against  England.  The  sole  benefit  of  the  representations  of  France 
was  that  Holland  did  not  take  the  side  of  England,  as  by  treaty  bound,  for 
by  the  treaty  between  them  neither  party  was  to  assist  the  other  in  a  war  in 
which  either  was  the  aggressor.4  This  the  Dutch  declared  was  the  position 
of  England. 

It  is  hard  to  credit  that  a  nation  which  in  America  was  arming  savage 
allies  secretly  against  the  settlers  of  the  rival  power,  could  be  so  meek  and 
magnanimous  in  Europe.  Hawke  ravaged  French  shipping.  France  sent 
back  to  England  the  frigate  Elankford,  captured  off  Brest,  and  instructed 
the  Intendant  of  Toulon  to  provision  an  English  fleet  cruising  in  the  Mediter- 
ranean should  it  call  at  that  port.5  This  was  only  some  two  score  years  before 
Burke,  lamenting  in  rolling  cadences  the  sorrows  of  Marie  Antoinette,  exclaimed 
that  the  age  of  chivalry  was  dead.  Under  Louis  XV.  it  survived  in  this 
fatuous  and  futile  treatment  of  an  enemy  which  had  proved  itself  insensible 
to  the  influences  d'un  beau  geste. 

The  comparative  insignificance  of  colonial  events  as  compared  with  those  in 
Europe,  to  which  reference  has  already  been  made,  is  demonstrated  by  the  fact 
that,  while  in  1755  there  was  armed  conflict  at  every  point  where  the  French 

1  Le  Chef  du  Genie  est  homme  de  Guerre,  aimant  le  bien,  toutes  ses  actions  sont  portees  a  Cela,  honncte  homme, 
bon  citoyen,  mai«  malheureusement  une  maladie  qui  le  minoit  avoit  tellement  affoibli  la  machine  qu'on  ne  Retrouvoit 
plus  1'homme  en  lui  il  n'avoit  que  des  momcns  "  (Journal  du  Siege  de  Louisbourg,  1758,  Arch,  de  la  F.  236  F.). 

-  See  the  latter's  reports  to  Cnpt.iin  Scott  when  he  was  in  the  pay  of  England  (Tyrell  Papers). 

*  See  the  letters  to  Surlaville  from  his  friends  at  Louisbourg. 

4  Corbctt,  vol.  i.  p.  20.  5  La  C.-G.  p.  242. 

1756  DECLARATION  OF  WAR  199 

and  English  came  in  contact  in  America,  it  was  not  thought  necessary  by  the 
Powers  to  declare  war  until  operations  began  in  Europe.  The  action  between 
Byng  and  Galissoniere  took  place  only  two  days  later  than  the  declaration  of 
war  by  England,  signed  by  the  King  on  the  i8th  of  May  1756,  and  followed 
by  that  of  France  on  the  9th  of  June. 

Minorca  fell  on  June  29,  and  the  brilliant  operation  of  the  French 
terminated  in  the  triumphal  re-entry  of  La  Galissoniere  and  Richelieu  into 
Toulon  on  the  i6th  of  July,  three  months  after  setting  out.  The  outcome  of 
this  disappointing  opening  of  a  war,  for  which  the  English  people  had  clamoured, 
was  the  execution  of  Byng  "  for  failure  to  do  his  utmost."  He  was  shot  on 
the  quarter-deck  of  the  Monarque,  which  had  been  one  of  the  fleet  with  which 
Boscawen  had  begun  hostilities. 

France  occupied  herself  with  land  operations  and  projects  for  the  invasion 
of  England.  She  contented  herself  with  regard  to  America  in  reinforcing  the 
garrison  of  Canada.  Beaussier  de  L'Isle  was  given  command  of  a  squadron 
which  took  out  the  regiments  of  La  Sarre  and  the  Royal  Rousillon  ;  with  them 
went,  to  gain  immortality,  le  Marquis  de  Montcalm,  as  successor  to  the 
captured  Dieskau. 

The  English  ships,  Fougeux,  Litchfield,  Centurion,  Norwich,  and  the 
smaller  Success  and  Vulture,  had  wintered  in  Halifax,  and  were  joined  in  the 
spring  of  1756  by  the  Graf  ton  and  Nottingham.  The  squadron  was  placed 
under  the  command  of  Commodore1  Holmes,  who  detached  the  Grafton  and 
Nottingham  with  their  tenders  to  blockade  Louisbourg. 

The  appearance  of  Beaussier's  ships,  returning  from  Quebec  to  Louisbourg, 
put  to  flight  the  tenders  of  the  English,  which  were  on  the  point  of  capturing  a 
French  merchantman,  driven  into  Mainadieu.  The  ships  of  the  line  came  in 
sight  of  each  other  on  July  26,  off  Louisbourg.2 

Beaussier's  impulse  was  to  engage,  at  the  risk  of  repeating  the  mistake  of 
Maisonfort.  Wiser  counsels  prevailed.  He  went  into  Louisbourg,  landed 
the  treasure  he  had  for  the  place,  and  cleared  his  ships  of  hamper.  The  next 
morning  he  engaged  the  English  ships,  having  supplemented  his  crews  by  only 
200  men,  although  the  whole  garrison  volunteered.  Beaussier's  ship  Le  Heros, 
a  seventy  -  four,  had  only  forty-six  guns  mounted,  and  was  not  supported  by 
Montalais  in  the  Illustre.  The  action  was  indecisive.8 

After  this  action  Holmes  returned  to  Halifax  for  a  few  days,  but  on  the 
7th  of  August  was  back  again.  However,  he  did  not  get  in  touch  with 

1  Admiralty  List,  Book  30. 

2  French  ships  :  Le  Heros,  74/46  ;  L'lllustre,  64  ;  and  the  frigates  La  Licornc  and  La  Sirine.     English  ships  :   Graftcn, 
70  ;  Nottingham,  60  ;  and  tenders  Hornet  and  Jamaica. 

3  It  is,  however,  so  interesting  that  accounts  of  it  are  printed  verbatim  in  Appendix  at  end  of  chapter. 


Beaussier  when  he  sailed  for  France  on  the  I3th.  Holmes  carried  his  operations 
further  than  along  the  coasts  of  Cape  Breton.  He  dispatched  on  August  7 
the  Fougueux  and  Centurion  to  the  St.  Lawrence,  the  Success  to  Newfoundland, 
and  the  Litchfield  to  Ingonish,1  to  distress  the  enemy.  The  larger  ships 
destroyed  the  village  of  Little  Gaspe,  flakes,  stages,  and  shallops  ;  Spry  adding 
in  his  report,  superfluously  it  would  seem,  as  the  inhabitants  were  defenceless, 
"  without  the  least  accident." 

Things  were  dull  and  unpleasant  in  Louisbourg.  The  English  ships  cruising 
off  the  port  made  various  captures,  the  most  important  of  which  was  the 
frigate  U Arc- en- del,  bringing  out  money  and  recruits  for  the  garrison. 
Louisbourg  itself  was  unmolested,  but  at  least  three  descents  were  attempted 
on  its  outports.  "  They  hoped  to  burn  all  the  dwellings,  but,  unfortunately 
for  them,  troops  and  Indians,  placed  in  ambush  in  these  harbours,  hacked  a 
number  of  them  to  pieces  and  took  the  remainder  prisoners  ;  not  one  escaped, 
and  many  scalps  were  taken." 

[The  only  landing  mentioned  in  the  log-books  is  that  from  the  Norwich, 
September  i ,  at  the  Gut  of  Canso  : 

"  6  A.M.  sent  our  Barge  &  Yaul  in  Compy.  with  the  Success's  Barge  and  Cutter  in 
shore  after  a  shallop  about  1/4  past  when  the  Barges  got  along  side  of  the  shallop  we 
observ'd  they  rec'd  a  very  brisk  Fire  of  small  Arms  from  the  Shore,  which  oblig'd  them 
to  put  oft",  on  which  the  Shallop  was  shoo'd  afloat  &  pursued  the  Boats,  the  Fire  continuing 
incessantly  from  the  shore  as  well  as  the  Launch,  One  of  the  Barges  by  this  Time  row'd 
only  2  Oars,  which  the  Shallop  came  up  with  &  took  in  a  little  Time,  the  other  Boats 
came  along  side  in  about  3/4  of  an  Hour  after  viz.  our  Barge  in  which  2  Men  Killed  &  3 
dangerously  wounded,  2  of  the  Success's  Bargemen  who  had  jump'd  into  the  Shallop  & 
when  the  attack  was  made  into  the  Sea  &  Swam  to  our  Barge  One  of  whom  was 
dangerously  wounded,  our  yaul  was  safe  &  the  Success  Cutter  had  one  Man  wounded, 
several  Shot  went  through  the  Barge  &  not  a  Mast  or  Oar  in  her  but  had  one  or  more 
Shot  in  or  thro'  them." 

The  other  landings  must  have  been  from  English  privateers.] 
In  consequence  of  the  stringent  prohibition  of  commerce  with  the  French, 
enforced  as  far  as  was  possible  by  the  English  Governors,  and  the  presence  of 
these  men-of-war  off  the  port,  the  French  believed  that  the  policy  of  England 
was  trying  to  reduce  the  place  by  famine. 

"Some  of  our  fishermen,  taken  prisoner  and  then  liberated  at  the  beginning  of  this 
campaign,  relate  that  the  English  intend  to  intercept  all  aid  and  provisions  which  may  come 
to  us  from  Europe,  they  wish  to  subdue  us  by  famine  and  oblige  us  to  give  up  the  keys 
without  striking  a  blow.  In  spite  of  the  fact  that  this  squadron  has  seized  our  ship  U Arc- 
en-Ciel,  a  54,  with  150  recruits  on  board  .  .  .  they  will  not  succeed  in  their  enterprise. 

1  Ad.  DCS.  1/481.  a  The  Grafton  and  her  consorts  remained  cruising  off  Louisbourg  until  October. 


We  have  at  the  present  moment  food  enough   to   last   the   entire   colony   nearly   two 

years."  * 

The  optimism  of  Des  Bourbes  was  repeated  by  M.  Portal,  an  engineer, 
who  about  the  same  time  wrote,  "  Du  monde,  des  vivres  de  1'argent,  de  la  bonne 
volonte,  voila  notre  position."  2 

Facts,  however,  seem  not  to  have  justified  this  cheerful  statement ;  the 
fortifications  were  wretched,  the  garrison  was  inadequate,  and  within  a  twelve- 
month the  lack  of  provisions  in  the  town  was  causing  the  greatest  anxiety. 

The  perspective  of  time  enables  us  to  accurately  gauge  the  relative 
importance  of  the  events  of  this  year. 

It  was  not  the  loss  of  Minorca,  which  Newcastle  felt  equal  to  that  of  any 
possession  in  the  world  except  Ireland,  nor  the  alarm  of  the  country  over  this 
loss,  nor  the  fear  of  invasion,  which  has  always  been  so  potent  in  its  effect  over 
the  mind  of  the  English  people,  nor  the  fall  of  Calcutta,  though  it  heightened 
the  alarm,  nor  the  capture  of  Oswego  by  Montcalm,  thus  closing  one  of  the 
avenues  to  Canada  ;  the  event  of  the  year  was  the  coming  to  power  of  Pitt. 

Newcastle  had  resigned  after  his  long  tenure  of  office  as  Prime  Minister. 
His  place  was  taken  nominally  by  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  but  the  real  head 
of  the  administration  was  Pitt,  for  whom  the  people  of  England  had  persistently 

At  once  a  new  spirit  animated  the  Ministry,  new  confidence  was  felt  in  the 
nation.  The  importance  of  warfare  in  America  was  recognized,  and  prepara- 
tions were  made  for  carrying  it  on  with  vigour.  Pitt's  policy  was  sound  in 
that  he  had  no  intention  of  "  trying  to  win  America  in  Europe."  A  French 
observer  saw  the  justice  of  his  views  :  "  The  victory  over  M.  Braddock, 
which  has  been  made  so  much  of  in  Europe,  has  done  nothing  to  decide  our 
fate.  The  naval  strength  of  the  English  was  a  hydra  against  which  we  had  to  try 
and  oppose  a  like  hydra.  France  should  have  built  and  equipped  a  number  of 
ships  equal  to  those  of  the  English,  with  her  gold  and  her  men,  instead  of 
seeking  for  them  a  tomb  in  Germany,  an  abyss  which  has  always  been  our  ruin." 

1  "  L'intention  des  Anglais,  suivant  le  rapport  de  quelques-uns  de  nos  pecheurs,  qui  ont  et£  pris  et  relache's  dans  le 
commencement  de  cette  croisiere,  est  d'intercepter  tous  les  secours  et  les  vivres  qui  peuvent  nous  arriver  d'Europe,  dc 
reduire  notre  place  par  la  famine,  et  de  nous  forcer  de  leur  en  porter  nos  clefs  sans  coup  fe>ir.     Quoyque  cette  escadre 
nous  ait  pris  le  vaisseau  L'Arc-en-Ciel,  de  54  pieces  de  canon,  dans  lequel  il  y  avoit  cent  cinquante  homines  de  recrue 
.  .  .  ils  ne  r£ussiront  pas  dans  leur  entreprise.     Nous  avons  actuellement  pour  pres  de  deux  ans  de  vivres  pour  toute  la 
colonie"  (M.  des  Bourbes  a  M.  de  Surlaville,  10  Aoust  1756,  Dernier s  jours  de  I'Acadie,  p.  190). 

2  Dernier  s  yours,  etc.  p.  195. 

3  "  La  victoire  contre  M.  Bradock  qu'on  fait  tant  valoir  en  Europe,  n'a  rien  moins  que  d£cid6  de  notre  sort.     Les 
forces  maritimes  des  Anglois  sont  une  hydre   a  laquelle   il  fallait  tacher  d'opposer  une  hydre  semblable.     C'6toit  a  la 
construction  et  a  1'armement  d'un  nombre  6gal  de  vaisseaux  qu'il  fallait  employer  les  hommes  et  1'or  de  la  France,  et 
non  leur  chercher  un  tombeau  en  Allemagne,  gouffre  qui  a  toujours  6t6  notre  ruine  "  (Pichon,  Histoire  du  Cap  Breton, 
pp.  268-269). 


Pitt  began  that  prodigious  activity  which  marked  his  tenure  of  office.  It 
was  devoted  not  only  to  affairs  of  state,  but  to  the  military  and  naval  operations 
which  embraced  the  protection  and  extension  of  the  Empire,  at  all  points  in 
both  hemispheres,  where  it  had  a  foothold. 

Lord  Loudon  was  the  Commander-in-Chief  in  America.  His  plan  of 
operations,  communicated  to  Pitt,  coincided  with  that  which  Pitt  had  himself 
formed.  The  most  important  feature  in  Pitt's  policy  was  a  coup  de  main  against 
the  French  strongholds  in  America,  the  reduction  of  Louisbourg  in  the  early 
part  of  the  season,  to  be  followed  by  an  attack  on  Quebec.  Pitt  urged  on  this 
work,  and  attempted  to  animate  and  unite  the  colonial  Governors  in  raising 
forces  to  assist  the  regular  troops,  not  only  in  this  expedition,  but  in  land  attacks 
on  the  outlying  French  positions. 

Before  his  retirement  Newcastle  had  determined  to  send  one  regiment  to 
America.  This  was  quite  inadequate  for  Pitt's  schemes.  Early  in  February 
he  wrote  to  Lawrence  that  the  second  battalion  of  the  Royals  and  six  regiments, 
each  of  8  i  5  men,  are  ordered  for  embarkation,  and  he  hoped  would  be  able  to 
sail  by  the  end  of  the  month.1  The  base  of  operations  against  Louisbourg  was 
Halifax,  and,  with  the  expectation  that  the  fleet  would  sail  before  the  end  of 
February,  Lord  Loudon's  plan  that  he  could  capture  Louisbourg  and  then 
proceed  to  Quebec  in  June  was  not  unreasonable.  However,  the  vigour  of 
Pitt  was  not  equal  to  expediting  matters  as  he  had  hoped.  There  was  great 
lack  of  organization  in  the  military  services.2 

Conditions  improved,  but  all  the  movements  were  behind  the  time  set  in 
Pitt's  plans.  Loudon  had  concentrated  his  forces  in  New  York,  and  was  ready 
at  the  end  of  April  with  a  body  of  about  6300  men  and  abundant  siege  material. 
No  news  came  of  Holburne,  who  was  to  bring  out  the  fleet  ;  and  the  naval 
forces  in  New  York,  a  fifty-gunship  and  four  small  cruisers  under  Hardy,  were 
inadequate  to  cope  with  the  French  squadron. 

In  June  they  embarked  the  troops,  but  just  as  they  were  on  the  point  of 
sailing,  they  got  news  that  De  Beauflremont  had  been  in  the  West  Indies  and 
was  probably  coming  north.  Further  delay  took  place,  for  it  would  have 
been  grossly  imprudent  to  move  this  force  without  adequate  protection.  The 
impatience  of  Loudon  and  Hardy  increased.  Finally  Hardy  sent  out  two 
cruisers,  who  reported  that  the  sea  was  clear  of  the  French  between  New  York 
and  Halifax,  and  in  the  last  third  of  June  they  successfully  made  the  voyage. 

There  was  no  sign  as  yet  of  Holburne,  but  the  troops  were  disembarked  at 

1   Kimhall,  vol.  i.  p.  2. 

-  This  last  is  indicated  by  the  conditions  in  the  previous  year.  The  troops  for  Loudon  lay  at  Portsmouth  until 
June,  without  transports  being  hired  for  them.  Cannon  were  shipped  on  one  vessel,  their  carriages  on  another,  ammuni- 
tion on  a  third,  and  powder  on  a  fourth.  The  loss  of  one  vessel  would  make  useless  the  safe  arrival  of  the  other  three. 
The  powder  was  bought  without  a  test,  and  proved  to  be  no  better  than  sawdust  (Entinck,  vol.  i.  p.  488). 


Halifax,  and  exercised  in  attacks  on  such  positions  as  they  would  be  likely  to 
meet  ;  they  were  taught  to  grow  vegetables,  and  later,  when  an  indignant  and 
disappointed  nation  reviewed  the  failure  of  Loudon's  expedition,  this  was  part 
of  the  source  of  ridicule.  Holburne's  late  arrival  in  American  waters  (July  9) 
was  the  chief  cause  of  failure  which  so  completely  characterized  the  movements 
of  the  British  forces  in  this  campaign,  but  French  seamanship  and  French 
strategy  accounted  for  the  decided  advantage  her  fleets  had  over  the  enemy.1 

While  Pitt,  in  February,  was  vainly  pressing  on  the  elaborate  preparations 
for  attack,  France  was  preparing  her  forces  for  defence.  A  squadron  of  four 
ships  under  Du  Revest  sailed  from  Toulon  to  Louisbourg  in  April.  Saunders' 
attempt  to  stop  them  with  an  equal  force  in  the  Straits  of  Gibraltar  was  un- 
successful, and  Du  Revest  arrived  at  his  destination  on  June  19. 

On  January  27  De  Beauffremont  sailed  unmolested  from  Brest  to  the  West 
Indies,  the  English  Admiralty  not  having  perfected  its  arrangements  to  blockade 
that  port  by  the  time  the  French  squadron  was  ready  to  sail.  He  had  a  force 
similar  to  Du  Revest's,  and  arrived  in  St.  Domingo  on  March  19  after  very 
heavy  weather,  and  left  on  May  4,  reaching  Louisbourg  on  the  jist  of  the 
same  month. 

Du  Bois  de  la  Motte  left  Brest  with  nine  of  the  line  and  two  frigates. 
Temple  West,  who  Was  then  blockading  the  port,  had  been  driven  off  in  a  gale 
of  wind  ;  so  that  the  English  efforts  to  destroy  any  part  of  the  French  reinforce- 
ments failed  through  the  unpreparedness  of  the  Admiralty  or  the  fortunes  of 
the  sea. 

Du  Bois  de  la  Motte,  Lieutenant-General,  arrived  in  Louisbourg  on  the  night 
of  the  2Oth  of  June.  He  was  in  command  of  the  united  squadrons,  which  gave 
him  a  force  superior  to  that  of  Holburne's.2 

The  junction  of  the  three  French  squadrons  at  Louisbourg  was  ascertained 
by  scouts  sent  out  from  Halifax.  The  men  from  the  English  ships  were 

1  Holburne  received  a  sharp  letter  from  the  Admiralty  for  indulgences  granted  to  his  captains  (Ad.  Out  Letters, 
vol.  518). 

"  I  believe  you  have  never  heard  of  this  A.  Holburne,  and  are  anxious  to  know  from  whence  he  came,  he  is  a  Scot, 
you  know  I  don't  think  well  of  that  nation  for  upper  leather,  nor  was  he  ever  thought  much  of  in  our  service,  he  is  rich 
and  has  contrived  to  insinuate  himself  into  the  good  graces  of  Lord  Anson,  made  an  Admiral  and  sent  here  in  my 
assistance,  you  see  by  this  I  don't  like  him  or  ever  did,  having  known  him  from  my  first  entering  into  service.  .  .  ." 
(Boscawen  to  his  wife,  June  26,  1755,  Falmouth  MSS.). 

2  Le  Formidable,  80.  UHector,  74.  Le  Vaillant,  64.  La  Brune,  30. 

Le  Tonnant,  80.  Le  Glorieux,  74.  Le  Superbe,  70.  La  F/eur  de  Lys,  30. 

Le  Deffenseur,  74.  Le  Dauphin  Royal,  70.  U  Inflexible,  64.  L'Abenatkiie,  38. 

Le  Due  de  Bcurgogne,  80.        Le  Bizarre,  64.  Le  Belliqueux,  64.  La  Comette,  30. 

Le  He'ros,  74.  VAchille,  64.  Le  Sage,  64.  La  Fortune,  flute,  30. 

Le  Diademe,  74.  L'E-veille,  64.  Le  Celebre,  64.  L'Hermione,  26. 

(B4,  Marine,  76.^ 


sickly,  500  had  to  be  left  on  shore  in  hospitals  at  Halifax,  and  200  had  died. 
On  the  4th  of  August,  Loudon  wrote  Holburne  a  short  note,  the  point  of 
which  was  :  "  In  view  of  intelligence  rccvd.  from  Louisbourg  is  there  any 
chance  of  success  in  its  attempted  reduction  ?  "  To  which  Holburne  replied  on 
the  same  day,  "  that  the  season  is  too  far  advanced,  and  enemy  too  strong, 
for  attempt  to  be  successful."  1  Thereupon  they  determined  to  abandon  the 
siege.  A  strong  garrison  was  left  in  Halifax,  as  in  the  forts  in  the  Bay  of 
Fundy  ;  but  most  of  the  troops  retired  with  Loudon  to  New  York.  The  fleet 
of  Holburne  began  to  cruise  off  Louisbourg  on  August  19  ;  it  kept  this  position, 
making  more  than  one  attempt  to  draw  La  Motte  out  from  the  port. 

The  latter  refrained  from  action  ;  the  point  in  his  instructions  which  most 
impressed  itself  on  him  was  that  he  must  secure  Louisbourg  from  attack.  The 
men  from  his  ships,  together  with  the  garrison,  occupied  themselves  in  throwing 
up  earthworks  and  in  fortifying  every  cove,  both  to  the  east  and  west  of 
Louisbourg,  where  a  landing  might  be  effected,  and  in  keeping  in  them  a 
sufficient  garrison  to  resist  a  first  attack. 

The  forces  which  Du  Bois  de  la  Motte  had  at  his  disposal  were  : 

Artois  ....     437 

Bourgogne  ....     536 
Louisbourg  Companies  .     805 

Militia          .         .  .     200  77 ,  .     r/ 

volunteers  from  the  Fleet. 
(Quebec  Soldiers    ...        30 

Acadians  and  Indians     .          .     260  Officers  .          .       31 

Artillery       .  -5°  Men       .          .          .     600 

Officers        .         .         .         .150 


The  cannon,  68  in  number,  and  two  mortars,  mounted  in  entrenchments, 
were  all  served  by  these  forces,  with  the  exception  of  the  Acadians  and  Indians, 
who  were  with  Boishebert  at  Gabarus. 

The  frigates  of  his  fleet  made  occasional  cruises  about  the  coasts,  and  the 
diaries  speak  of  several  prizes  brought  in,  mostly  by  privateers.2  Holburne  kept 
his  position  off  Louisbourg  till  after  the  middle  of  September.  On  Sunday  the 
2  fth  the  most  violent  storm  known  for  years  proved  disastrous  to  the  greater 
part  of  the  English  fleet,  and  upset  Holburne's  plans  for  any  attack  on  the  vessels 
of  Du  Bois  de  la  Motte,  who  after  repairing  the  comparatively  slight  damage 
done  to  the  Tonnant,  returned  safely  to  France.3 

Holburne  got  his  ships  refitted  in  Halifax,  and  left  there  for  the  winter, 

1   Ad.  De».  481.  2  Marine  B4,  vol.  76.     Also  journal  of  Fleur  de  Lys,  Ottawa,  F,  1-3. 

3  Sec  Appendix,  p.  207,  for  the  account  of  the  storm. 



according  to  instructions,  eight  men-of-war  and  brought  the  others  successfully 
back  to  England,  a  highly  creditable  piece  of  seamanship,  which  helped  to  lessen 
the  resentment  of  Pitt.1 



June     8.    Torbay  and  Dunkirk  took  Alcide^  64. 

8.  Fougueux  took  French  dogger. 

9.  Fougueux  and  Defiance  took  the  Lys,  64. 

19.  Litchfield  took  a  brigantine  from  Martinico  for  Louisbourg. 

20.  Mars  captured  a  snow,  UAigle^  Rochelle  to  Louisbourg. 
26.  Arundel  took  a  snow,  St.  Maloes  to  Cape  Breton. 

July      2.  Arundel  took  a  fishing  schooner,  G.  of  Cancer  to  Louisbourg. 

2O.  Defiance  took  a  French  snow,  Prudent^  to  Dunkirk,  from  Bordeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

20.  Arundel  took  a  sloop  from  Louisbourg. 

21.  Terrible  took  a  schooner  from  Louisbourg  to  Nants. 

25.  Arundel  took  a  schooner  from  Martinico  to  Louisbourg. 
Aug.  13.    Terrible  took  a  snow,  Bourdeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

13.  Litchfield  took  a  snow,  also  schooner  and  shallop. 

19.  Dunkirk  took  a  snow,  Michault^  Martinico  to  Louisbourg. 

21.  Edinburgh  and  Dunkirk  took  two  French  ships,  the  St.  Antonia  and  Duke  de  las 

Court,  Bourdeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

22.  Dunkirk  took  the  St.  Clear^  Bourdeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

22.  Litchfield  took  a  French  ship. 

23.  Litchfield  took  the  Emmanuel^  Bourdeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

21  to  23.  Arundel  employed  sacking  and  destroying  fishing-station  at  Port  a  Basque. 

24.  Dunkirk  took  a  French  snow. 

Aug.  25.  Dunkirk  and  Litchfield  took  the  snow,  Three  Friends^  St.  Malones  to  Louisbourg. 

26.  Augusta  took  a  French  schooner. 

Sept.     i.  Success  took  a  French  snow,  Bourdeaux  to  Quebec. 

i.  Success  took  a  French  dogger,  Bourdeaux  to  Louisbourg. 

May  22.  Success  captured  French  schooner. 

24.  Success  fired  on  an  Indian  boat.     Also  on  Indians  on  shore. 
29.  Norwich  took  French  dogger,  Rochfort  to  Louisbourg. 

1  Ad.  Orders  and  Instructions,  vol.  79,  p.  376,  see  also  Ad.  Out  Letters,  No.  521. 

The  eight  ships  were  :  Northumberland,  Terrible,  Kingston,  Orford,  Arc  en  del,  Sutherland,  Defiance,  Somerset,  also  the 
frigates,  Portmahon  and  Hawke.  The  Ha-wke,  which  arrived  in  Halifax  on  Nov.  5,  brought  to  Holburne  the  erroneous 
report  that  the  French  fleet  was  still  in  Louisbourg.  See  Holburne  to  Pitt,  Nov.  4,  1757,  P.S.  Nov.  5,  Ad.  Des.  i,  481, 
and  Kimball,  vol.  i.  p.  125.  In  Chapter  XV.  is  a  statement  of  the  dismay  felt  when  the  news  of  the  storm  reached  London. 

The  Stirling  Castle  and  three  other  ships  were  ordered  on  Nov.  n  to  cruise  for  twenty-one  days  between  Ushant  and 
Cape  Clear,  for  the  protection  of  trade  and  the  security  of  the  disabled  ships  of  Holburne's  fleet  expected  from  America. 


May  29.  Fougueux  took  French  dogger,  Old  France  to  Louisbourg. 

29.  Litchfield  took  Douchess  of  Pontchatrain^  Rochfort  to  Louisbourg. 

June     2.  Success  took  French  schooner. 

13.  Litchfield  and    Norwich    took    L* Arc-en-Ciel,   52  guns,   550  men.       L'Oruebt  to 

1 6.  Centurion  took  storeship  Equity^  Rochfort  to  Louisbourg. 

20.  Hornet  took  schooner. 

July     8.  Jamaica  captured  brig,  Rochfort  to  Louisbourg. 
10.   Grafton  took  two  fishing-boats. 

21.  'Jamaica  took   a  French  ship  which  she   chased  ashore.     Seized   also  a  fishing- 


Au^.  13,  14.  Schooner  and  sloop  chased  on  shore — captured  by  the  boats  of  the  Litchfield 
and  Grafton. 

13.  Centurion  drove  a  vessel  into  the  harbour  of  Neganish. 

14.  Centurion  and  Hornet  captured  do.,  a  schooner  from  Quebec  to  Louisbourg. 
24.  Jamaica  took  a  schooner,  an  illicit  trader,  from  Piscadue  to  Newfoundland. 

Sept.  4,  5.   Litchfield  landed  at  Leganish  Bay — took  fish,  burnt  stages,  shallops,  etc. 
7.   Centurion  took  sloop  loaded  with  fish. 

7.   Fougueux  took  three  French  shallops  and  a  small  sloop  in  Gasp6e  Bay. 
9.   Fougueux  and  Centurion  took  a  snow,  Quebec  to  Gasp£e. 

10.  Fougueux  and  Centurion  took  a  schooner,  St  John's  to  Quebec. 

11,  12.   Fougueux  and  Centurion  employed  in  destroying  the  fishing  village  of  Little 

Gas  pee. 

PRIZES    TAKEN    1757    BY    HoLBURNE's    SHIPS 

May  13.  Dunviddie  recapture. 

19.  Snow. 

June    4.  La  Hercule,  St.  Domingo  to  Bordeaux. 

6.  Dauphin,  Cap.  Francois  to  Bordeaux. 

9.  Ship,  St.  Domingo  to  Bordeaux. 

24.  Schooner,  St.  Eastatius  to  Salem. 

Aug.  24.  Ketch,  Rochefort,  an  illicit  trader  to  Louisbourg. 

28.  Providence,  Rochefort  to  Louisbourg. 

Nov.    6.  English  Snow,  recapture. 

This  statement  has  been  compiled  from  Log-Books  in  the  Record  Office.     The  spelling 

has  not  been  changed. 


"June  26,  at  8  A.M.,  1755. 

"  My  dearest  Fanny  cannot  think  how  easy  I  find  myself  since  I  despatched  the  Gibraltar 
for  England,  the  account  I  have  given  of  myself  good  or  bad  being  gone  from  me,  has  taken 
a  great  burden  from  my  spirits,  thus  to  begin  a  war  between  two  great  and  powerful  nations, 
without  an  absolute  order,  or  declaration  for  it,  now  and  then  gives  me  some  serious  thoughts, 


some  will  abuse  me,  but  as  it  is  on  the  fighting  side,  more  will  commend  me,  had  I  been 
lucky  enough  to  have  fallen  in  with  more  of  them  I  should  have  been  more  commended, 
not  but  that  I  have  the  secret  satisfaction  to  know  that  I  have  done  all  that  man  could  do 
in  this  part  of  the  world,  which  no  man  that  has  not  seen  can  be  any  judge  of,  the  sudden 
and  continual  fogs  the  cols  [«V]  in  this  Southern  latitude  at  midsummer  and  our  first  coming 
on  the  coast  the  dismal  prospect  of  floating  islands  of  ice  sufficient  to  terrific  the  most  daring 
seaman,  I  know  what  I  have  done,  is  acting  up  to  the  spirit  of  my  orders,  I  know  it  is 
agreable  to  the  King  the  ministry  and  the  Majority  of  the  people,  but  I  am  afraid  they  will 
expect  I  should  have  done  more,  the  whole  scheme  is  the  demolishing  the  naval  power  of 
France,  and  indeed  the  falling  in  with  those  that  have  escaped  me  and  demolishing  them, 
would  have  been  a  decisive  stroke  and  prevented  a  war,  but  what  I  have  done  will  add  fewel 
to  the  fire  only,  and  make  them  complain  at  all  the  Courts  in  Europe  if  our  great  men  dare 
begin  first  in  Europe  they  will  yet  take  some  of  them  on  their  return,  they  have  no 
provisions  to  stay  here  all  the  winter,  if  they  attempt  to  stay  all  their  men  will  perish.  .  .  ." 

THE  STORM  IN   1757 

"  When  the  month  of  September  Came,  the  Equinox  brought  the  most  furious  tempest 
ever  known  in  the  memory  of  man.  The  sea  at  the  same  time  rose  to  such  a  prodigious 
height,  Ferdinand  de  Chambon,  the  officer  on  guard  at  the  "  Grave  "  was  obliged  to  quit 
his  post  with  his  detachment,  to  avoid  being  drowned,  after  standing  their  ground  until  the 
water  was  up  to  their  knees.  It  began  about  twelve  at  night,  and  continued  with  the  same 
force  until  twelve  next  day  at  noon.  The  evening  before  being  fair,  clear  and  calm,  the 
English  fleet  was  in  its  usual  station  near  the  entry  of  the  harbour,  and  everybody  imagined 
it  impossible  for  them  to  get  clear  of  the  land  and  avoid  being  dashed  against  the  rocks. 
The  next  morning  we  expected  to  see  the  coast  all  covered  with  wrecks. 

"The  inhabitants  of  the  Country  brought  us  each  moment  news  of  the  dismal  state  of 
the  English  fleet. 

"  All  their  ships  were  shattered  and  dispersed  ;  five  of  them  were  seen  together  driving 
before  the  wind  towards  Newfoundland  without  masts. 

"Several  others  were  in  the  same  Condition.  A  fifty-gun  ship  was  lost  at  the  distance 
of  four  leagues  from  Louisbourg;  but  the  crew  being  saved,  a  detachment  was  immediately 
sent  to  them  to  prevent  their  being  butchered  by  the  Indians.  In  short  it  was  evident 
that  five  French  men  of  war,  if  they  had  gone  out  of  the  harbour  in  quest  of  the  English, 
would  have  been  sufficient  to  pick  up  and  take  all  that  was  left  of  the  English  fleet.  .  .  .  " l 

An  officer  on  the  French  vessel  Fteur  de  Lys  tells  the  same  tale  of  woe  : 

"  We  have  gone  through  the  most  violent  gale  of  wind  seen  here  for  a  long  time, 
though  they  are  frequent.  Last  Thursday  (the  22nd)  it  was  fine  and  quite  calm  ;  out  at 
sea  we  noticed  a  mist  which  spread  towards  the  harbour  in  the  night.  On  Friday  there 
was  a  slight  S.E.  wind  with  a  little  fog.  Saturday  it  veered  from  S.E.  to  E.S.E.  nice  and 
fresh.  An  English  vessel  was  at  that  time  very  near  the  shore,  she  set  sail  as  fast  as  she 

1  Chevalier  Johnstone,  Quebec  Hist.  Soc.,  Campaign  of  Louisbourg. 


could  for  the  open  sea  ;  after  mid-day  the  wind  veered  to  the  E.  so  that  was  in  her  favour. 
The  wind  got  stronger  from  this  direction  so  I  let  go  the  big  anchor  before  night  fall,  very 
carefully  so  that  it  should  hold  fast.  At  1 1  o'clock  at  night  the  wind  got  very  violent,  but 
two  hours  after  midnight  it  was  even  stronger,  till  1 1  o'clock  this  morning,  when  it  veered 
to  the  south  and  soon  to  the  S.W.  I  have  never  seen  anything  like  it.  At  3  A.M.  the 
Dauphin  Royal  dragged  her  anchor,  fouled  the  Tonnant  and  broke  her  bowsprit  ;  the 
Dauphin  RoyaTs  rudder  was  broken.  At  u  the  Tonnant  was  ashore,  but  the  wind  having 
changed  by  then  to  the  South,  she  floated  with  the  tide,  her  rudder  was  carried  away,  her 
mizzcn  mast  cut  off,  and  she  is  now  much  like  the  others,  but  without  bowsprit,  mizzen 
mast  or  rudder,  worst  of  all  she  is  taking  much  water. 

" The  hawser  of  /' Ablnaqu'ne  parted,  this  frigate  has  been  thrown  ashore,  and  I  do  not 
doubt  but  many  of  our  ships  would  have  had  the  same  fate  if  the  wind  had  lasted  another 
hour.  .  .  ." — Sunday,  z$th  Sept.  1757.  Log-Book  of  the  Fleur  de  Lys. 

We  read  also  in  the  Anonymous  Journal  written  by  one  of  the  officers  of 
De  La  Motte's  squadron,  on  board  L'  Inflexible  : 

"Since  the  23rd  the  winds  in  the  E.  and  S.E.  parts  of  the  island,  were  constantly  from 
the  S.E.  and  were  fresh  enough,  with  much  fog  and  rain  to  make  us  fear  a  storm,  and  so  it 
began  on  the  24th  in  the  afternoon,  without  much  violence  at  the  outset,  but  at  I  o'clock 
in  the  night  it  turned  into  a  most  terrible  hurricane,  there  was  not  a  single  ship  of  our 
squadron  that  did  not  drift,  although  each  had  four  anchors  under  her  bows  ;  by  daybreak 
our  situation  was  lamentable.  During  the  night  Le  Dauphin  Royal  fired  a  canon  as  signal 
of  distress.  In  spite  of  our  wish  to  assist  them,  we  were  unable  to  do  so.  The  sea  was  so 
dreadful  that  it  made  us  shudder.  The  cable  of  the  Dauphin  Royal  broke,  she  was  instantly 
thrown  on  Le  Tonnant  where  she  broke  her  rudder,  the  whole  of  the  gallery  of  the  poop 
was  destroyed,  but  these  damages  were  inconsiderable  compared  with  those  sustained  by  Le 
Tonnant)  whose  bowsprit  was  broken,  also  the  figurehead  and  cut-  water  ;  and  she  was 
thrown,  while  thus  entangled,  on  the  Royal  battery,  where  she  struck  with  violence. 
We  were  even  surprised  that  she  could  resist  the  shock,  the  mizzen-mast  was  promptly  cut 
away  to  lighten  the  stern  which  was  the  portion  that  was  suffering  most  ...  If  at  noon 
the  wind  had  continued  for  another  hour  and  not  changed  to  the  south  and  south-west, 
nine  or  ten  of  our  vessels,  including  that  of  our  Admiral,  would  have  been  driven  ashore. 
It  is  impossible  to  imagine  such  a  dreadful  spectacle  as  that  which  met  our  eyes.  The 
frigate,  rAbenaquise^  the  cable  of  which  was  parted,  was  instantly  thrown  up  on  the  beach, 
along  with  25  merchantmen,  several  of  them  high  and  dry.  More  than  80  boats  and 
skiffs  of  the  squadron  were  tossed  by  the  waves  and  smashed,  most  of  them  on  the  shore,  a 
number  of  the  men  on  board  them  perishing.  More  than  50  schooners  and  boats  met  the 
same  fate.  By  3  P.M.  the  hurricane  having  greatly  abated,  I  went  in  our  boat  to  help  ours. 
Sailors,  who  have  been  more  than  50  years  afloat,  say  that  they  never  saw  the  sea  so  awful. 
The  ramparts  of  the  town  were  thrown  down,  and  the  water  inundated  half  of  the  town,  a 
thing  which  has  never  been  seen.  The  sea  dashed  with  such  tremendous  force  on  the 
coast  that  it  reached  lakes  two  leagues  inland.  ..." 

The  incidents  connected  with  her  salvage  are  briefly  told  as  follows  by  one 
of  the  French  officers  at  Louisbourg  : 


"  During  the  afternoon  of  the  2yth  a  boat  arrived  with  a  report  that  whilst  passing 
St.  Esprit  they  saw  a  number  of  people  on  the  shore,  and  also  many  others  on  the  prow. 
Upon  this  information  we  sent,  next  morning,  four  schooners  with  sixty  grenadiers  and 
one  hundred  soldiers,  who  were  forced  back  by  contrary  winds,  and  went  by  land.  The 
same  day  a  person  of  the  locality  brought  in  his  boat  Captain  Thems  (Thane),  second 
captain  of  the  said  ship  who  is  on  board  with  us,  also  two  sailors.  We  learn  that  it  was 
the  Tilbury  60  guns,  formerly  part  of  the  Holburne  squadron.  The  Captain,  and  the 
commander  of  the  grenadiers  were  drowned,  as  well  as  half  the  crew.  Our  troops  had 
great  difficulty  in  reaching  the  scene  of  the  wreck,  owing  to  the  floods  in  many  localities 
which  the  gale  had  caused  the  sea  to  submerge.  We  were  anxious  to  give  the  shipwrecked 
prompt  assistance,  for  fear  of  the  fury  of  the  Indians,  who  might  possibly  get  there  first. 
This  they  did,  but  they  behaved  very  well  under  the  circumstance,  their  conduct  surprising 
us.  When  a  company  of  savages,  150  strong,  made  their  appearance,  not  one  of  the 
English,  although  half  dead  with  hardship,  expected  to  escape,  but  a  chief  came  forward  and 
reassured  them,  saying  :  c  Fear  not,  since  the  hurricane  has  brought  you  to  shore  we  are 
coming  to  your  relief,  but  if  you  had  come  to  make  war  upon  us,  not  one  of  you  would  be 
safe,  and  we  would  take  all  your  scalps.'  The  Indians  themselves  went  on  board  the  ship  to 
help  the  others  get  off.  The  living  were  not  plundered  at  all,  but  as  the  dead  arrived  on 
the  shore  they  searched  them.  .  .  "  1 

The  following  facts  are  taken  from  the  log-books  of  the  English  squadron  : 

Captain^  Sept.  25,  1757. — "Fore  stay  sail,  Main  and  Mizen  stay  sail  all  blown  away 
and  Main  sail  split  to  pieces  ....  9^  foot  water  in  the  Well,  and  9  in  the  Magazine 
which  washed  away  all  the  Powder  .  .  .  but  the  Wind  shifting  and  with  the  assistance 
of  an  Iron  Tiller  got  clear  of  the  Rocks." 

Devonshire^  Sept.  25,  1757. — "At  £  past  3  A.M.  the  mainsail  split  all  to  Pieces.  At 
6,  the  Mizen  split  to  Rags,  it  then  blowing  a  meer  hurricane  of  wind  and  a  very  high  sea 
which  made  a  free  passage  over  us." 

Lightning^  Sept.  25,  1757. — "At  4  A.M.  it  blowing  an  excessive  hard  Gale  of  Wind 
we  split  our  Mainsail  which  blew  quite  away.  At  7,  we  Shiped  a  Sea  Abaft  which  stove 
in  the  Dead  Lights,  very  much  damaged  our  stores  and  a  great  quantity  of  our  Bread.  .  .  . 
The  Breakers  scarce  a  cable's  length  from  us." 

Newark,  Sept.  25,  1757. — "Excessive  hard  gales.  Cut  away  best  bower  anchor  lest 
it  shoud  bulge  the  ship.  Threw  overboard  6  upper  deck  guns  and  carriages  to  ease  the 
ship,  8  vessels  seen  with  masts  gone,  etc.  .  .  ." 

Terrible^  Sept.  25,  1757. — "Sunday.  The  first  part  strong  gales  and  squally,  the 
middle  and  latter  very  strong  gales  and  squally  thick  weather,  with  Rain.  .  .  .  Saw  15 
Sail  of  Ships,  10  with  their  masts  gone,  in  Distress.  At  10  freed  the  Ship  of  Water, 
|  past  Saw  the  Land  betwixt  St.  Esprit  and  Fouch6,  W.N.W.  about  2  miles,  and  not  one 
mile  from  the  Breakers.  .  .  .  Saw  one  Ship  in  the  Breakers,  some  near  the  Shore,  Some 
to  an  Anchor  with  their  masts  gone,  and  some  standing  off  as  we  did." 

Orford)  Sept.  25,  1757. — ".  .  •  At  noon  wore  ship  to  the  S'ward  saw  several  of  our 
Ships  some  of  them  having  lost  their  Masts.  Saw  the  Land  from  the  N.W.  to  N.  distance 
4  or  5  Miles  the  Wind  shifted  to  the  Westward." 

1  Moreau  St.  Mery,  vol.  24,  f.  3. 


State  of  the  Squadron  under   the  Command  of  Vice-Admiral  Holburne, 
September  28,  1757.' 

"1757,   Sept.   28.  —  Windsor,   Kingston,  Northumberland,   Newark,  Orford,    Terrible, 
Somerset.     In  company  with  all  their  Masts  standing. 

"  Bedford,  Dtfianct.     All  their  Masts  sent  to  the  Eastward  to  take  two  ships  in  tow. 

"  Invincible,  Captain,  Sunderland.  Fore  masts  and  Bowsprits  standing,  and  have  raised 
jury  masts  to  carry  them  into  Port  :  are  in  tow. 

"  Nottingham.  Spoke  to  by  the  Orford,  yesterday,  wants  no  assistance  ;  has  a  Fore 
Mast  Bowsprit  and  jury  mast. 

"  Graf  ton,  Nassau.     Have  been  seen  with  no  Masts  nor  Bowsprits  standing. 

"  Devonshire,  Eagle.      Have  been  seen  their  Fore  Masts  and  Bowsprits  only  standing. 

"  Prince  Frederick,  Centurion,  Tilbury.  We  have  no  certain  Accounts,  but  some  of 
these  must  be  the  Ships  the  Bedford  and  Defiance  went  after. 

"  Nightingale.     Has  lost  her  Mizen  Mast  and  Maintopmast. 

"  It  is  generally  thought  that  the  Tilbury  is  lost,  and  every  soul  perished,  and  we  are  in 
some  pain  about  the  Ferret,  as  she  must  have  been  in  the  Storm  ;  We  had  lost  Company 
for  two  days,  and  she  is  a  very  indifferent  Sloop,  sails  badly  and  very  crank.  The  cruizer 
who  I  had  sent  to  Halifax  to  hasten  the  water  out  to  us  was  very  near  foundering  having 
been  under  water  several  times,  with  the  loss  of  his  boats,  guns,  and  mizen  mast  and  every 
one  thing  above  water  ;  some  of  the  Ships  have  lost  a  few  Men  and  guns  and  Anchors  j 
Bread  and  Powder  greatly  damaged,  having  had  so  much  Water  in  them.  Booms  and 
Boats  many  gone. 

(Signed)         "FRA.  HOLBURNE."  2 

Holburne's  fears  proved  groundless  with  the  exception  of  the  Tilbury. 
She  was  wrecked  on  those  rocks  near  St.  Esprit,  which  still  bear  her  name,  and 
it  may  be  that  the  gold  which  has  been  in  recent  years  found  on  this  shore,  was 
cast  up  by  the  ocean  from  the  ship's  hold.  Her  Captain,  Henry  Barnsley,  was 
drowned,  but  her  First  Lieutenant,  Thane,  was  among  those  saved.  Her  com- 
plement was  400  men,  of  whom  280  were  saved.8 


SIR, — I  desire  you  would  please  to  acquaint  their  Lordships  that  on  the  26th  July  I 
was  Cruizing  in  His  Majesty's  Ship  Grafton  with  the  Nottingham,  Hornet,  and  Jamaica 
Sloop  off  Louisburg  about  Three  Leagues  S.b.E.  at  Eight  A.M.,  the  Man  at  the  Mast  head 
discovered  four  sail  to  the  N.E.  which  was  directly  to  Windward,  we  gave  Chace  and  made 
our  first  Board  to  the  Southward,  they  steering  directly  for  us  till  within  two  Leagues  we 
tacked  in  hopes  to  have  cut  them  from  their  Port,  and  they  hauld  in  for  it.  Half  past  one 
P.M.  they  came  to  an  anchor  in  their  Harbour  and  a  little  after  we  brought  too  about  a 
League  from  it  and  hoisted  our  Colours,  the  lighthouse  bearing  North  where  we  lay,  at 
four  made  Sail  to  the  Eastward,  soon  as  it  was  dark  dispatched  the  Hornet  with  the  in- 
closed Letter  to  Captain  Spry  and  then  stood  on  as  before  till  three  o'clock,  when  we 

1   Admiral's  Despatches,  vol.  481.  2  A.I.  Dea.  vol.  1/481.  8  Ad.  List  Book,  32. 


tacked  and  stood  in  for  the  Land  at  seven  in  the  Morning  (the  2yth)j  the  Man  from  Mast- 
head call'd  he  saw  six  sail  under  the  Land  about  Eight  o'Clock.  I  could  see  four  ships  in 
chace  of  us,  and  I  could  with  my  Glass  make  them  to  be  Men  of  War,  and  see  the  French 
Commodore's  white  Pendant  very  Plain,  on  which  I  stood  from  them  to  the  S.E.,  about 
a  point  from  the  Wind  which  drew  them  from  their  Harbour  and  thought  it  the  best  of  our 
sailing,  for  I  judged  them  above  our  match,  or  they  would  not  have  come  out  of  Port 
again  in  so  few  hours,  I  believe  they  only  put  their  Sick  and  Lumber  on  Shore  and  took 
Troops  off  for  they  were  very  full  of  Men  ;  half  past  One  P.M.  the  headmost  of  the  French 
Squadron  a  Frigate  of  about  Thirty-Six  Guns,  fired  on  the  Jamaica  sloop  which  she  Return'd 
and  rowed  at  the  same  time,  on  the  Nottingham  and  our  firing  at  the  Frigate  she  hauld 
her  wind  and  the  Jamaica  bore  away  to  the  S.W.,  which  the  French  Commandant  observ- 
ing made  a  Signall  for  the  two  Frigates  to  chace  the  Sloop  which  they  immediately  obey'd, 
about  two  the  Nottingham  fired  her  Stern  Chace  at  the  French  Commandant  which  he 
returned  with  his  Bow,  and  soon  after  I  fired  mine,  finding  our  Shott  reach'd  each  other, 
Hauld  up  my  Courses,  bunted  my  Mainsail  and  Bore  down  on  the  French  Commodore, 
being  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  him  it  fell  calm  and  we  began  to  Engage,  he  being 
on  our  Starboard  side,  the  other  large  French  Ship  a  Stern  of  him,  and  the  Nottingham  on 
our  Larboard  Bow,  the  two  Frigates  a  Mile  from  us  and  the  "Jamaica  something  more. 
Tho'  the  French  Commandant  held  us  so  cheap  at  first  by  sending  his  Frigates  away,  he 
was  so  Sensible  of  his  mistake  that  soon  as  there  was  wind  he  made  the  Frigates  signal  to 
rejoin  Him  and  fearing  they  did  not  come  fast  enough  to  his  Assistance  bore  down  to  them, 
and  we  followed,  at  Seven  they  were  all  close  together,  at  dusk  the  Action  ceased,  they 
standing  to  the  Southward  and  we  to  the  S.S.E.,  light  airs,  our  Men  lay  at  their  Quarters 
all  night  expecting  to  renew  the  Action,  in  the  Morning  at  day  light  the  French  ships 
bore  N.W.b.W.  distance  four  or  five  Miles,  going  away  with  little  wind  at  E.S.E.  right 
before  it  for  Louisburg,  we  wore  and  stood  to  the  Westward,  but  they  never  OfFer'd  to 
look  at  us,  the  wind  fresh'ning,  they  sailing  much  better  than  our  ships  and  the  Weather 
growing  hazey,  lost  sight  of  them  about  noon,  their  chief  fire  was  at  our  Masts,  which 
they  wounded  and  cut  our  Stays  and  Riging  pretty  much,  I  had  one  Lower  deck  Gun  dis- 
mounted and  one  upper,  Six  Men  kill'd,  and  Twenty  odd  wounded,  which  is  all  the  damage 
the  Grafton  received.  I  here  inclose  you  Captain  Marshall's  Letter  with  his  Boatswain 
and  Carpenter's  reports  of  the  Damages  received  in  the  Action.  The  Jamaica's  Mainmast 
was  shott  and  is  Condemned  by  Survey,  I  sent  her  to  Halifax  with  the  inclosed  letter  and 
the  worst  of  my  wound'd  men,  Employ'd  fishing  my  Main  Mast,  the  2gth  being  thick 
Weather  could  not  venture  in  with  the  Land  as  was  the  3Oth  till  noon,  when  stood  in 
and  at  4  brought  too,  little  wind  at  South,  at  6  Cabroose  point  N.b.W.  £  W.  Three 
Leagues  and  Louisburg  lighthouse  N.b.E.  \  E.  Four  Leagues  no  ships  off  the  Harbour 
nor  could  I  see  plain  what  was  in,  it  being  hazey  over  the  Land,  soon  as  it  was  dark  stood 
away  to  the  Westward  for  Halifax  with  the  Grafton  and  Nottingham  the  ist  August  join'd 
our  ships  there  and  as  I  wanted  much  to  know  the  force  of  the  french  Ships  and  from 
whence  they  came  on  my  arrival  at  Halifax  I  advised  with  Govr.  Lawrence  and  Detach'd 
Major  Hale  of  the  Garrison  to  Louisburg  with  a  Flag  of  Truce  in  a  Schooner  on  pretence 
of  treating  for  the  Exchange  of  Captain  Lieut.  Martin  of  the  Train  who  was  taken  by  the 
Indians  in  the  Harbour  of  Passmaquady,  and  carried  to  that  place,  one  of  my  Petty  Officers 
I  have  sent  as  Master  of  the  Schooner,  but  as  she  is  not  return'd  I  can  only  give  their 


Lordships  my  Opinion  of  the  ships.  The  Commandant  I  judge,  to  be  a  74,  the  other  a 
64,  and  two  Frigates  of  40  and  36  guns.  On  the  jth  I  saild  from  Halifax  with  his 
Majestys  ships,  Grafton^  Fougueux^  Litchfield^  Norwich^  Nottingham^  Centurion^  Hornet^ 
and  Jamaica  sloop,  the  Success  has  since  Join'd  us  and  [I]  am  now  with  the  Squadron  off 
Louisburg, — I  am,  &c.,  CHAS.  HOLMES. 

"  Grq/lon  at  Sea, 

"Louisburg  N.W.b.N.  Six  Leagues, 
"the  2jth  August  1756." 

EXT.  OF  LOG  OF  THE  Grafton  (70) 

July  26,  1756. — ".  .  .  At  \  past  10  saw  4  Sail  in  the  N.E.  made  sail  and  gave  Chace 
Do.  Clear'd  ship  for  Action  they  bore  down  to  us  we  kept  our  Wind  which  they 
Observing  hauld  in  for  Louisburg.  Continued  our  Chace  but  they  having  the  Advantage 
of  the  Wind  of  us  got  into  Louisburg  Harbour  we  found  as  follows  a  74  gun  ship  a  64 
with  2  frigates  of  32  Guns  each  Come  from  Quebeck." 

July  27,  1756. — ".  .  .  Still  Continuing  our  Chace  at  i  past  I  P.M.  they  Anchord  in 
Louisburg  Harbour  Brought  too  and  Hoisted  our  coulers  at  5  the  Hornett  parted 
Company  for  Halifax  ...  in  Company  the  Nottingham  and  Jamaica  ...  at  7  A.M.  saw 
4  sail  under  Scatary  which  we  judged  to  be  the  french  Squadron  Come  out  wore  and 
bore  away  they  gave  us  Chace  out  all  reefs  and  made  all  the  Sail  we  Could  set  Clear'd 
Ship  for  Action.  In  Company  the  Nottingham  &  Jamaica  the  French  squadron  bearing 
N.W.  about  2  Leagues  we  being  becalm'd  &  they  Having  a  fresh  breeze  Coming  up  to  us." 

July  28,  1756. — ".  .  .  At  i  past  i  a  french  frigate  gave  Chace  to  the  Jamaica  & 
began  to  fire  at  her  but  upon  the  Nottingham  and  our  fire  at  him  he  hauld  his  wind  the 
french  Comodant  at  the  same  time  began  to  Engage  the  Nottingham  Do.  we  haild  the 
Nottingham  desiring  he  would  drop  a  stern  that  we  might  Come  to  a  Closer  Engagement 
with  the  french  Commandant.  Continued  engageing  him  with  the  Nottingham  on  our 
Larbd.  bow  &  the  french  Commadant  on  our  Starboard  side  with  the  64  gun  ship  on 
our  Starbd.  quar.  till  6  o'clock  in  the  Afternoon  at  which  time  the  Commadant  set  his 
foresl.  &  bore  away  Do.  set  Our  foresail  &  followed  him  he  made  Sigl.  as  we  suppose  for 
Assistance  by  hoisting  a  white  Flag  at  His  Main  Topmt.  Backstay  from  His  mast  head  down- 
ward, and  two  white  Pendants  at  his  Larbd.  main  yard  Arm  on  which  the  2  Frigates  drew 
Close  to  him  and  Engaged  till  40  minutes  after  7  when  they  hauld  to  the  So.  wd.  &  we 
to  the  S.S.E.  being  both  Sides  pretty  much  Shattered  in  our  rigging  we  had  5  Men  kild 
&  13  Wounded  several  Guns  Dismounted  at  6  A.M.  saw  them  N.W.  5  miles  wore  Ship  & 
Stood  to  the  Wt.wd.  in  Company  the  Jamaica  and  Nottingham.  .  .  ." 

Aug.  I,  1756. — "In  Halifax  Harbour." 

26,  1756. — "Heard  the  report  of  several  guns  in  the  harbour  of  Louisburg." 

(Cruizing  about  Louisburg  until  7  Oct.     No  mention  of  entering  the  harbour.) 

EXT.  OF  LOG  OF  THE  Nottingham  (60) 

July  28,  1756. — " .  .  .  Begun  to  fire  our  Stern  Chaces  on  a  Frigate  that  was  Going  to 
Bd.  the  Jamaica  &  keeping  a  Continual  fire  on  her  Obliged  her  to  Sheer  off  a  short  time 
after  we  begun  to  Engage  the  French  Comdr.  with  our  Starbd.  Guns  Do.  hauld  up  the 



main  Sail  at  £  pt.  I  Our  Comdr.  begun  to  Engage  the  64  Gun  Ship  at  £  pt.  3.  The 
French  Comdr.  made  the  Frigates  Sigl.  to  Chace  the  Jamaica  we  keept  on  a  Continual 
fire  we  Received  from  them  Shott  through  our  Sails  two  Shott  through  the  Head  of  the 
Main  Mast,  one  through  the  Main  Topmast  an  other  that  splinterd  him  abaft,  beside 
several  Shott  in  our  Hull.  The  French  squadron  Consisted  of  one  of  74  Guns  one  of 
64  one  of  40  the  other  of  36  Guns.  At  \  pt.  7  left  off  Engaging  the  French  hauld 
the  Wind  and  Stood  to  the  westwd.  with  a  Light  Brieze  Employed  securing  the  Main 
Topmt.  at  12  getting  Pouder  filld  and  getting  Shott  up  and  making  Wadds  ready  to 
Engage  at  4  A.M.  Tackd  to  the  Wt.wd.  the  Ship  ready  to  Engage  as  before.  At  7 
Empld.  overhaulg.  the  Rigging  and  Repairing  what  was  Shott  away,  &  Securing  the 
Lower  Deck  Guns  &  Gunners  Stores  at  9  Saw  the  French  squadn.  Bearing  N.N.W. 
4  Leags.  Steering  for  Louisbourg.  The  Comdr.  &  "Jamaica  In  Company." 

Aug.  i,  1756. — "In  Halifax  Harbour." 

7  to  27,  1756. — "Another  cruize  off  Louisbourg.     (No  mention  of  her  entering  the 


"  Grafton  AT  HALIFAX 7*  8th  October  1756. 
"  SIR, 

"  As  I  had  certain  Intelligence  that  the  French  Men  o'  War  that  were  in  America  were 
sail'd  for  Europe  and  there  being  no  Danger  to  be  Apprehended  from  anything  they  could 
attempt  on  this  Coast,  I  thought  it  most  Conducive  to  the  good  of  His  Majesty's  Service 
and  to  distress  the  Enemy  to  seperate  the  Squadron.  .  .  .  While  they  were  on  these 
different  Services  I  continued  with  His  Majesty's  Ships  Grafton  and  Nottingham  on  the 
Station  of  Louisburg,  where  I  received  the  enclosed  letter  from  Major  Hale  of  Colo. 
Lascelle's  Regt.  who  Govr.  Lawrence  and  I  prevaild  on  to  go  in  a  Flag  of  Truce  to 
Louisburg  (he  being  Master  of  the  French  Language)  in  order  to  discover  what  we  could 
of  their  Men  of  War  and  to  learn  if  there  were  more  Expected.  He  went  under  pretence 
...  to  treat  for  the  exchange  of  Capn.  Lieut.  Martin.  As  their  Lordships  will  by  these 
letters  receive  an  Account  of  what  Damage  the  French  sustain'd  in  the  Engagement,  I 
inclose  you  my  Officers  reports  of  ours. 

"  I  am,  &c., 


"  An  Account  of  Carriages  Disabled,  and  Powder  fired  in  the  Engagement  with  four 
French  Men  of  War  on  board  His  Majesty's  Ship  Grafton  Commodore  Chas.  Holmes 
Esqr.  Commandt.  off  of  Louisburg  on  the  27  July  1756." 

_.          /-Broke  by  a  Shot  from  the  Enemy  ....     Fore       .  One. 

"32    Pound       T,      i    o  U       1  £    •  T-»  !?• 

Axeltrees  \  Bad  sPrung  b7  long  finng Do-     .-.Five. 

'[      Do.        Do.        Do. Hind  ...  One. 

"  1 8  pound  Axeltree  Broke  by  a  Shot  from  the  Enemy     .         .     Hind  ...   One. 

"  32  pound  Cap  Square  Broke          .         .         .         .         .         One. 

"The  above  render'd  Eight  Guns  unfit  for  Action  till  repaired.  Powder  fired  in  the 
Action  Barrls.  &  pds.  .  .  .  Ninty-nine,  &  ten  pds. 

(Sign'd)         «JNO.  SMYTH,  Gunr." 



"The  Report  of  the  Damages  done  to  His  Majesty's  ship  Grafton  Charles  Holmes 
Esqr.  Commander  on  the  27  July  1756  by  engaging  with  four  sail  of  French  Men  of  War 
of  Louisbourg. 


"  Received  Seven  Shott  between  wind  and  water. 

"      Do.     In  the  Ships  Sides  Twenty  Nine  Shott. 

"      Do.     In  the  Counter  of  the  Ship  Two  Do. 

"  The  Stern  laid  open,  and  quarter  Gallerys  Shott  to  pieces,  the  quantity  of  Glass  broke, 
One  Hundred  and  Ninety  Seven  Pains. 

"The  Cistarn  of  the  Chain  Pumps  part  of  the  Bottom  and  end  entirely  Shott  away. 

"  Part  of  the  Supporter  of  the  Catt  head  shott  away  and  the  Round  House  and  Tunnel 
shot  all  away. 

"  Ten  Iron  Stantions  in  the  West  and  quarter  Shot  away  with  the  Mens  Hammocks 
and  Twenty  Broke. 

"  The  Three  Poop  Lanthorns  Shot  to  pieces  and  the  Top  Light  much  Damaged. 

"  Two  Cranes  of  the  Gangway  Shott  to  pieces. 

"  Sundry  Dammages  done  to  Ladders,  Grating,  Boats,  &c." 


"  One  Large  Shott  through  the  Body  of  the  Main  Mast  Eleven  foot  from  the  uper 
Deck.  The  Cheek  of  the  Main  Mast  Shott  to  pieces  about  the  Middle  of  the  Cheek 
in  length. 

"The  Foremast  One  Shott  of  two  Inches  &  a  half  Diamiter  five  Inches  in  Just  above 
the  Collar  of  the  main  Stay. 

"The  Flying  Jib  Boom  One  Third  in  from  the  outer  end  the  upper  part  Cut  Two 
Inches  in  with  a  Shott.1 

(Sign'd)          "MELBOURNE  WARREN,  Carpr." 


"  Nottingham  at  Sea, 
"28/A  July  1756. 

"  SIR, — I  herewith  send  you  the  Boatswain  &  Carprs.  Reports  of  the  Damages  Received 
on  board  his  Majesty's  Ship  Nottingham  under  my  command,  yesterday  in  the  Time  of 
Action  with  four  sail  of  French  men  of  War.  I  hope  the  Main  topmast  will  stand  till  I 
have  an  Opportunity  of  Rigging  an  other,  it  being  very  much  Wounded,  but  I  have 
secur'd  him  with  the  Hatch  bars  and  a  strong  wolding  over  'em,  the  Head  of  the  Main 
Mast,  being  shot  afore  &  abaft  the  Mast,  just  above  the  Barrel  of  the  Main  Yard,  is  only 
what  the  Carpenter  can  Repair,  without  getting  out  the  Mast,  so  that  we  shall  soon  be 
to  rights  again. — I  am,  &c., 


1  There  is  also  a  long  report  of  damages  given  by  the  boatswain — 2  full  foolscap  pages.     This  has  not  been  copied. 


"  DEAR  SIR, — I  desire  you  will  immediately  send  me  out  any  Ship  that  may  be  ready 
to  come  to  Sea  to  Join  me  of  St.  Esprit  or  between  that  and  Louisburg.  I  have  had  an 
Action  with  the  French  Squadron  who  I  have  made  bear  away  for  their  Port.  My  Main 
Mast  being  much  Wounded  I  was  afraid  could  not  secure  him  at  Sea  but  hope  I  have  by 
fishing  him  very  well  and  am  now  going  to  see  if  the  said  Gentlemen  have  a  Mind  for 
any  more  of  it.  I  would  have  the  Ships  Join  me  as  fast  as  they  can  get  Ready,  without 
waiting  for  Each  Other.  After  any  One  ship  Joins  me  I  shall  Cruize  off  Louisburg  and 
Scatary  agreeable  to  our  Rendezvous.  Capn.  Hood  will  give  you  the  Particulars  of  the 
Action  and  of  their  Force. — I  am  &c., 

(Sign'd)         "  CHAS.  HOLMES. 
"  Grafton  at  Sea 

"at  Noon  Louisburg  bore  N.E.b.N.  10  or  12  Leagues 

"July  ye  zgth,  1756. 
"To  Capn.  Spry,  Fougueux  by  the  Jamaica  Sloop." 


"HALIFAX,  Septem.  the  i3th,  1756. 

"SiR, — I  take  the  opportunity  by  Mr.  Clewitt  to  give  you  some  Account  of  my 
Expedition  to  Louisburg  and  to  Assure  you  how  Sorry  I  am  that  I  could  neither  get  out 
of  that  Harbour  time  Enough  to  inform  you  of  what  it  was  of  the  Greatest  Consequence 
for  you  to  know,  nor  get  a  Sight  of  your  Squadron  when  the  French  thought  proper  to 
dismiss  me. 

"  On  the  Third  of  August  as  you  may  remember  I  saild  from  Halifax  and  on  the  fth 
I  arrived  at  Louisburg  where  I  found  Le  Heros  Monr.  Beaussier  of  74  Guns  Ulllustre, 
Montallete  64,  La  Serene  Brugnon  36  L?  AH  crone  ^  Larrigaudiere  30  Guns  being  the  same 
Ships  which  you  Engaged.  Le  Heros  close  to  which  I  was  moor'd  had  22  Shott  which  I 
counted  in  her  Larboard  Side  about  a  Dozen  in  Different  parts  of  her  Stern.  One  Shot  in 
her  Rudder,  Her  three  Topmasts  disabled  her  Main  Main  Mast  fish'd  from  top  to  Bottom, 
Her  shrouds  &  rigging  Cutt  to  Pieces,  and  altogether  in  a  Condition  which  did  great 
Credit  to  the  Grafton,  her  kill'd  and  Wounded  upon  a  Comparison  of  all  Accounts 
Amounted  to  one  Hundred  the  other  Ship  and  the  Frigates  had  not  Sufferd  any  damage 
at  all  that  I  could  learn,  these  Ships  came  from  Quebec  and  their  Orders  to  Land  a  Sum 
of  Money  at  Louisburg  was  as  they  say  the  Occasion  that  they  did  not  Engage  you  the 
Evening  you  first  Saw  them,  but  I  have  good  reason  to  think  that  they  put  into  Louisburg 
for  a  Reinforcement  of  Men,  etc.  The  Reason  that  they  did  not  renew  the  Engagement 
the  Next  day  but  run  into  Harbour  was,  as  an  Officer  of  the  Heros  confess'd  to  me 
because  that  ship  was  so  much  disabled.  I  cannot  omit  in  this  Place  a  Compliment  which 
a  French  Captain  paid  you,  Mr.  Brugnon  the  Capn.  of  the  Serene  in  a  Letter  which  he 
sent  by  me  to  a  French  Officer  at  Halifax  has  these  Express'd  Words,  Les  Englois  ont 
fait  des  Merveilles  leurs  Cannon  a  e^e"  Services  Comme  de  la  Musqueterie. 

"These  have  arrived  at  Quebec  this  Summer  the  Abovementioned  Ships  together  with 
Le  Leopard  of  64  Guns  the  Concord  and  Sauvage  Frigates  who  brought  over  two 
Regiments  Le  Sarre  &  Rousillon.  The  three  last  sailed  Seperately  for  France  before  my 
Arrival  at  Louisburg  the  four  others  of  your  Acquaintance  after  waiting  till  the  Heros  was 


ready  (upon  which  they  had  work'd  incessantly)  sailed  out  of  Louisburg  Harbour  at  about 
7  o'Clock  on  Friday  Evening  I3th  August,  and  I  supposed  according  to  Intelligence  they 
had  Received  from  without  steer'd  a  Course  all  night  by  which  with  the  assistance  of  a 
Fogg  in  the  morning  they  had  the  good  luck  to  Escape  you.  On  Saturday  the  i-fth  as  the 
True  reason  for  which  I  was  detain'd  Ceased  the  Governour  dismissed  me  and  the  Instant 
I  got  my  Letters  which  was  5  in  the  afternoon  I  stood  out  of  the  Harbour  towards  your 
station  we  steer'd  S.E.  some  time  and  then  brought  too  the  wind  blowing  fresh  at  S.W. 
on  Sunday  morning  being  12  Leagues  to  the  Eastward  of  Scatery  we  stood  in  for  the 
Land  and  as  it  was  Clear  and  we  Saw  Nothing  of  your  Ships  I  flatterd  my  self  you  had  got 
Sight  of  and  was  in  pursuit  of  the  French  Ships  and  immagining  my  Stay  could  be  of  no 
Service  I  made  the  Best  of  my  way  to  Halifax  where  I  arriv'd  on  Wednesday  the  i8th 
there  is  not  at  present  a  Single  Ship  or  Frigate  at  Quebec  or  Louisburg  that  I  am  sure  of 
and  have  reason  to  think  that  none  are  Expected. 

"  By  a  Calculation  which  I  made  by  Counting  the  Officers  I  have  good  reason  to  think 
there  are  not  above  eleven  Hundred  men  at  Louisburg  'tis  probable  they  have  Spared  part 
of  the  Garrison  to  Cannada,  they  are  greatly  distress'd  there  for  meat  drink  and  Shoes 
and  I  assure  you  fish  dress'd  different  ways  makes  up  great  part  of  their  Entertainments  ; 
what  I  have  farther  to  Add  is  with  Regard  to  One  Baptisto  Dion  who  is  on  bd.  the 
Fougueux  and  whose  history  is  as  follows,  he  Came  Pilot  last  Summer  to  a  French  Flag  of 
Truce  and  was  detain'd  by  One  of  the  Admirals  as  an  English  Subject  and  was  put  on 
board  The  Fleet  in  Quality  of  a  Pilot.  Mr.  Beaussier  the  Captain  of  the  Herat  and  Mr. 
Drucour  the  Governour  of  Louisburg  have  both  made  Strong  remonstrances  to  Mr. 
Lawrence  about  his  being  detain'd  and  Mr.  Beaussier  said  he  had  as  much  right  to  detain 
my  Pilot,  it  is  Certain  the  Man  was  formerly  an  Inhabitant  of  Nova  Scotia  but  it  is  as 
Certain  that  he  Abandoned  long  since  his  Habitation  and  that  his  wife  and  children  are 
now  at  Louisburg.  If  I  may  be  Permitted  to  give  my  Opinion  I  should  think  it  better 
to  Release  him  for  otherwise  the  French  will  detain  the  first  person  they  get  into  their 
Hands  or  do  something  that  will  put  an  End  to  all  Commerce  and  Understanding  between  us 
which  an  Exchange  of  Prisoners  or  other  Business  renders  often  Necessary  during  a  war. 

"  Your  most  obedient  Servant, 

(Sign'd)         "JOHN  HALE." 


"  Jamaica  at  Sea, 

"  August  25th,  1856. 

"SiR, — Agreeable  to  your  orders  I  have  had  a  look  at  Louisburgh.  Falling  in  to  the 
westward  Monday  afternoon  I  stood  very  near  in,  then  ran  close  along  shore  to  the 
Eastward,  so  that  nothing  in  the  Harbour  escap'd  my  Notice,  where  were  only  Two 
Topsail  vessels.  And  as  I  thought  it  of  some  consequence  to  know  where  the  men  of  war 
were  gone  to,  that  engag'd  you  on  the  2/th  past  I  did  my  utmost  to  gett  a  Fishing  Shallop ; 
and  not  succeeding  with  the  Sloop,  made  all  the  sail  I  cou'd  off  the  Land  just  at  dusk,  and 
as  soon  as  it  was  dark  stood  in  again  :  At  12  sent  the  Lieutenant  in  the  Pinnace  to  go  & 
lie  under  the  Land  to  the  Eastward  of  the  Lighthouse,  with  directions  to  seize  the  first  he 


cou'd.  In  the  meantime  I  stood  off  and  on  ;  and  at  day  light  was  close  in,  took  up  the 
pinnace  &  a  shallop  she  had  taken  with  four  men,  whom  I  have  examin'd  seperately,  and 
found  to  tell  the  same  story.  One  of  the  Topsail  Vessels  in  the  Harbour  is  the  large 
storeship,  that  unloaded  at  Millidue  quite  unrigged,  &  the  other  a  snow  from  Rochfort. 
The  Men  of  War  sail'd  for  France  fifteen  days  since,  and  were  join'd  at  Sea  by  a  Frigate 
call'd  the  Concord,  from  St.  Ann.  There  names  and  force  are  as  follows ;  The  Hero,  a 
new  ship  of  74  guns,  the  Illustrious  of  64,  the  Perfect  of  36,  &  Serene  of  30.  Upon  my 
asking  how  the  French  came  not  to  engage  the  English  on  the  26th  they  say  they  went 
in  to  put  some  money  on  shore,  and  gett  men,  and  that  they  press'd  a  great  number  that 
night.  I  then  asked  them,  whether  it  was  not  expected,  by  the  people  on  shore,  that  the 
English  wou'd  be  taken  ;  They  reply'd  every  one  made  sure  of  it ;  and  it  is  allow'd  the 
English  behav'd  well.  They  likewise  tell  me  that  their  Commandant  had  26  men  kill'd 
on  the  Spot,  that  Fifty  died  of  their  wounds  in  three  or  four  days,  and  that  above  a  hundred 
more  were  wounded  :  that  her  Lower  masts  were  so  shatter'd,  as  scarcely  to  be  made 
serviceable  by  Fishing  to  carry  her  home.  Her  sides  full  of  shot  Holes,  and  had  Nine  and 
Twenty  shot  between  wind  and  water ;  many  of  them  thro'  and  thro'.  The  other  large 
Ship  but  little  damag'd  ;  and  the  Frigates  came  off  in  the  same  manner.  I  have  made 
enquiry  about  Major  Hale,  who  went  with  the  Flag  of  Truce.  They  say  he  was  detain'd, 
till  the  men  of  war  were  gone,  and  sail'd  next  day.  .  .  . 

"  This  is  the  amount  of  what  I  have  collected  from  the  French  Men  (who  are  inhabit- 
ants of  JLouisburgh)  who  are  now  on  board  the  Jamaica,  and  shall  be  glad  to  know  whether 
I  may  be  permitted  to  let  them  go  :  I  promis'd  I  would  interceed  in  their  behalf  with  you, 
if  they  wou'd  tell  the  Truth  ;  and  I  believe  they  have  done  it,  by  their  agreeing  so  exactly 
in  what  they  have  said. — I  am  &c., 

"SAMUEL  Hooo.1 

1  Samuel  Hood  was  the  future  Admiral  Viscount  Hood. 


As  English  blockades  had  suspended  the  normal  activities  of  the  people  of 
Isle  Royale,  it  is  well,  at  this  point,  to  measure  the  degree  of  success  they 
reached  in  carrying  on  the  business  for  which  they  had  settled  in  Louisbourg 
and  its  outports.  What  else  remains  of  the  history  of  the  place  is  mainly  a 
narrative  of  military  events,  of  its  siege  and  capture  ;  implicitly,  therefore, 
of  its  failure  to  protect  its  people,  to  maintain  French  influence  on  this  Atlantic 
seaboard,  and  to  safeguard  the  sea  approaches  to  Canada. 

The  manner  of  carrying  on  the  fisheries  has  been  described  in  the 
memoir  of  1706  at  some  length.  As  its  writer,  so  the  present,  refers  the 
reader  interested  in  the  details  of  this  trade  to  the  Sieur  Deny's  elaborate 
description.1  A  rare  book 2  has  some  pages  dealing  specially  with  the  Cape 
Breton  trade.  It  may  be  noted  that  the  Island  is  spoken  of  as  Cape  Breton 
Island  instead  of  Isle  Royale,  the  same  survival  of  a  name  in  common  use, 
after  an  official  change,  which  finds  a  later  exemplification,  in  the  continuance 
to-day  of  the  name  of  Cape  Breton  in  cases  where  the  correct  official  designation 
has  been  since  1820,  Nova  Scotia. 

The  following  is  a  free  and  somewhat  condensed  translation  of  this 
description  of  the  trade  : 

Vessels  are  sent  out  in  three  different  ways  to  Cape  Breton. 

Some  go  there  simply  for  fishing,  and  leave  about  the  I5th  of  February, 
or,  at  the  latest,  in  the  beginning  of  March. 

Those  which  go  for  both  fishing  and  trading  leave  during  April. 

The  others  who  go  simply  for  trading  alone  leave  in  May  or  June.  These 
voyages  are  usually  of  seven  or  eight  months,  and  the  vessels  return  to  our 
ports  in  November  and  December. 

Fishing  is  carried  on  at  Cape  Breton  as  in  the  Petit  Nord,  but  the  vessels 
which  are  sent  there  are  generally  only  of  from  50  to  100  tons  and  need 

1    Deny's  Description  of  AcaJia,  Champlain  Society,  p.  257  et  ie$f. 
*   Rfmaryues  sur  plusieurs  (?)  branches  dt  commerce  et  de  nai'igathi,  M.DCC.LVII. 



consequently  only  from  four  to  six  boats  (Chaloupes)  which  are  bought  from 
the  people  of  Cape  Breton  in  barter  for  fishing  gear  or  merchandise.1 

The  goods  sent  out  are  delivered  at  Louisbourg.  The  captain  lands  and 
remains  on  shore  with  his  trading  stock,  while  his  lieutenant  goes  fishing  with 
one  or  more  inhabitants,  who  under  a  written  agreement  for  a  wage,  payable 
in  kind,  fishes  on  the  ship's  account.  The  captain  chooses  men  skilled  in 
catching  and  preparing  cod.  The  vessels  of  100  tons  have  ordinarily  twenty- 
five  or  twenty-six  men,  sometimes  hired  at  a  monthly  wage,  sometimes  on  shares. 
In  either  case  the  owner  makes  them  advances. 

The  captain  keeping  shop  at  Louisbourg  sells  his  goods  for  ready  money, 
that  is  to  say,  payable  at  the  end  of  the  fishing  season,  which  ordinarily  lasts 
four  months,  either  in  cod  at  an  agreed  price,  or  in  Bills  of  Exchange. 

A  vessel  of  100  tons  for  this  voyage  costs  usually  24,000  livres  :  its  cargo 
about  18,000,  and  the  wages  and  provisions  for  twenty-five  men,  about  10,000 

The  cargo  of  a  vessel  of  100  tons  for  trading  at  Cape  Breton  would 
consist  of  salt  provisions,  fishing  implements,  ship  chandlery,  stuffs,  boots 
and  shoes,  lead,  iron,  linen,  a  small  quantity  of  brandy,  wine  and  spirits.  The 
only  touch  of  luxury  among  the  commodities  is,  that  in  mentioning  shoes 
(Souliers)  for  women,  the  list  adds  for  the  most  part,  coloured  ones.2 

The  principal  consumption  of  dried  cod  is  at  Marseilles,  where  the  greater 
part  of  the  vessels  discharge.3  Thence  some  is  sent  to  Italy.  Cadiz  and 
Alicante  take  from  Marseilles  nine  or  ten  cargoes,  and  the  balance  is  distributed 
to  Bordeaux,  La  Rochelle,  Nantes,  St.  Malo,  and  Havre. 

In  fishing  for  dry  and  green  cod,  Granville  sends  55  to  60  vessels.  The 
ports  between  Agon  and  St.  Malo  65  to  80  ;  Nantes,  Olonne,  and  neighbouring 
ports,  55  to  60  vessels. 

From  St.  Malo,  Nantes,  La  Rochelle,  Bordeaux,  and  Bayonne  60  to  80 
vessels  go  to  Cape  Breton  for  fishing  and  trading. 

The  voyages  for  dry  and  green  cod,  including  those  to  Gaspe  and  Labrador, 
employ  fifteen  or  sixteen  thousand  seamen,  and  the  air  of  the  climate  is  so 
healthy  that  in  ordinary  seasons  there  scarcely  die  ten  out  of  this  whole  number. 
With  these  there  are  from  eighteen  hundred  to  two  thousand  apprentices. 

The  same  writer  devotes  a  few  pages  to  the  fisheries  of  New  England, 
in  which  he  says  that  from  Boston,  Plymouth,  Barnstaple,  Cape  Ann,  and 
Marblehead,  are  sent  out  annually  180  vessels  of  35  to  40  tons,  and  from 
Nova  Scotia  (Canso)  1 7  or  1 8  vessels,  and  that  each  of  these  makes  three  trips 
a  season,  taking  from  200  to  250  quintals  each  voyage.4  He  speaks  of  the 

1  The  number  of  boats  seems  overstated  by  the  official  returns.  2  "  Surtout  en  couleurs." 

8  New  England  also  did  a  large  trade  with  this  port.  4  His  estimate  is  less  than  that  of  Douglass'. 


illicit  trade  with  foreign   ports,   and   estimates   the  number   of  men  employed 
as  from  seventeen  to  eighteen  hundred. 

He  concludes  his  sketch  with  a  panegyric  on  the  people  of  this  industry, 
and  notes  the  lack  of  attention  to  the  services  of  the  sailor-fishermen  in 
comparison  with  that  of  the  soldier.  "  One  will  recognize  that  the  latter  is 
useful  to  the  State  only  in  time  of  war,  and  nevertheless,  that  he  costs  at  all 
times  at  least  125  livres  a  year,  and  that  the  sailor  who  serves  his  country 
at  all  times,  who  even  enriches  it  by  his  labour  and  industry,  costs  the  State 
only  when  the  King  makes  him  serve  on  his  vessels  ;  these  men,  brought  up 
so  to  speak  among  the  dangers  of  the  coasts,  whom  the  greatest  perils  do 
not  amaze,  are  as  nimble  in  handling  vessels,  as  intrepid  in  conflicts.  Does 
not  this  class  of  men  justly  deserve  a  high  place  among  the  objects  of  the 
State,  of  which  to-day  its  only  rival  is  a  Maritime  Power  ?  " 

In  addition  to  the  fisheries  conducted  from  French  ports,  there  was  the 
shore  fishery  of  Isle  Royale  carried  on  by  its  own  people,  and  occupying  the 
labours  of  its  permanent  inhabitants,  and  the  capital  of  the  merchants  resident  at 
Louisbourg.  Many  of  these  merchants  were,  judging  by  such  names  as 
Rodriques  and  Daccarette,  originally  Basques,  and  long  in  the  business.  The 
representatives  of  the  Rodriques  in  1781  appealed  to  the  Assemblee  Nationale 
for  a  loan  to  carry  on  their  business.  They  recounted  in  their  memoir  that 
they  had  lost  all,  first,  at  the  capture  of  Port  Royale  in  1710,  then  at  that  of 
Louisbourg  in  '45  and  in  '58,  wherein  their  losses  were  240,000  1.,  and,  again, 
at  the  capture  of  St.  Pierre-Miquelon  in  1778.  They  stated  that  at  Louisbourg 
they  had  employed  200  to  300  fishermen.1  Early  in  the  history  of  Louisbourg, 
Normans  also  came  there,  although  the  majority  of  the  names  are  Basque. 
Indeed  a  Widow  Onfroy  claimed  to  have  begun  this  trade,  in  which  she  was 
followed  by  other  outfitters  of  St.  Malo.  The  traveller  in  France  at  all  times 
has  been  struck  with  the  business  capacity  of  the  Frenchwoman.  The  conduct 
of  a  fishing  business  at  an  outport  of  Isle  Royale  is  a  striking  example  of  this 
capacity,  which  was  exercised  by  more  than  the  Malouin  bourgeoise.  Other 
women  at  various  times  are  noted  as  administering  fishing  stations,  usually 
established  by  a  deceased  husband.2 

The  boat-builders  seem  to  have  been  Acadians,  and  it  is  early  noted  that 
scarcely  a  vessel  came  out  which  did  not  require  a  mast  or  spar,  the  supplying 
of  which  gave  employment  to  the  habitant.  It  also  led  to  poaching  on  British 

1  Their  many  purchases  of  vessels  from  the  New  Englanders  in  '49  and  '50  would  seem  to  substantiate  their 

3  In  1753  at  Petit  Lorambec,  we  note  four  widows.  One  owned  five  chaloupes  and  had  twenty-five  fisher- 
men. Another,  four  fishermen.  The  third  owned  two  chaloupes  and  had  nine  fishermen.  At  Mire,  one  widow, 
Marie  la  Boyne,  owned  a  schooner  and  grew  wheat,  corn,  and  fruit.  At  Port  Dauphin  we  note  another  woman  owner 
of  property. 



territory,  for  many  fine  sticks  were  brought  from  Pictou,  presumably  rather  for 
these  refittings  than  for  the  vessels  which  were  built  on  the  island.1 

The  proximity  of  Isle  Royale  to  the  banks,2  the  excellence  of  the  shore 
fishing,  that  is  the  catch  made  in  open  boats,  which  a  more  or  less  fabulous 
New  England  statement  said  was  so  good  that  the  fish  were  taken  with  grapnels, 
and  the  skill  of  the  French  fisherman  made  Louisbourg  a  place  of  the  first  rank 
in  this  industry.  Its  annual  catch  was  about  150,000  quintals.  How  great, 
relatively,  is  measured  by  the  fact  that  in  its  best  days,  the  Marblehead  district 
caught  120,000  quintals,  and  that  from  the  establishment  of  Louisbourg  the 
New  England  fisheries  declined.3 

The  commerce  which  resulted  from  these  products  of  the  sea  was  large  : 
some  7000  or  8000  tons  of  valuable  commodities  to  be  transported.  In 
consequence,  Louisbourg  and  its  outports  had  a  splendid  concourse  of  vessels 
during  its  busy  season.  Below  is  tabulated  the  shipping  of  Isle  Royale  for  ten 
normal  years,  1733-1743  (1741  being  wanting)  of  its  industry.4  It  shows  that  one 
year  with  another  154  vessels  visited  its  ports,  principally  Louisbourg.  Again  a 
comparison  shows  how  important  was  its  trade.  Only  three  ports  of  the 
populous,  enterprising,  and  sea-faring  British  colonies  saw  more  vessels  come  in 
from  sea  than  those  which  visited  this  outpost  in  Isle  Royale  of  French 
commercial  enterprise. 

1  A  minor  industry  was  the  brewing  of  spruce  beer,  the  valuable  antiscorbutic  qualities  of  which  made  a  demand  for 
it  not  only  from  merchantmen,  but  also  from  men-of-war.  Pichon,  p.  69,  says  that  the  Acadian  women  chew  spruce 
gum,  and  that  it  whitens  their  teeth  and  keeps  them  in  good  condition.  A  well-equipped  brewery  existed  in  the  outskirts 
of  the  town. 



Lunenburg,  N.S. 

Gloucester,  Mass. 

Virgin  Rocks,  Grand  Banks 




Green  Bank 












Middle  Grounds 




Sable  Island  Bank 




Cape  North 




North  Bay  . 

20  1 



St.  Pierre  Bank 




Prepared  by  Mr.  H.  C.  Levatte,  of  Louisbourg. 

3  Marblehead's  fleet  declined  from  120  schooners  in  1732  to  70  in   1747  (Douglass,  vol.  i.  p.  302. 
total  catch  of  B.N.A.  as  300,000  in  1747,  which  seems  to  include  Newfoundland). 

4  Local  fishermen  and  coasters  are  not  included. 

He  states  the 






From  France.               From  Canada. 

From  French 
West  Indie*. 

From  New  England  ! 
and  Acadia.                        TotaL 


70                                  17 


46                                   158 























f         35        1 

-j    5  =  Acadia  V 

[30=  English] 



73                          '4 


42                           144 


56                                       20                                        24 




**  •? 

/  i 

19                                        22 





















Portsmouth      ..... 

Xmas  '47-48                           121 

Newport          ..... 

March  25,  '47-48                    56 

,,                 ..... 



New  York        ..... 

Sept.  29,  '50 


Boston    ...... 

Xmas  '47-48 


Philadelphia    ..... 

Xmas  '47-48 


Salem  and  outports  .... 


Marblehcad     ..... 

Cape  Anne      ..... 

I  Xmas  '47-48 


Ipswich            .          .          .          .          .1 

Ncwbury          .          .          .          .          .  I 

Prevost  wrote  on  January  4,  1753,  a  letter  dealing  with  the  trade  of  Isle 
Royale,1  which  supplements  the  statements  just  quoted.  Fishing,  he  pointed 
out,  was  the  base  of  the  commerce  with  France,  the  West  Indies,  and  Canada. 
The  shore  fishery  was  carried  on  by  residents,  in  fishing-boats,  which  did  not 
go  more  than  four  or  five  leagues  off  shore.  The  larger  boats  ("  batteaux  ") 
and  schooners  went  to  the  Scatari,  Green,  Sable  Island,  and  St.  Pierre  banks,  as  well 
as  to  those  in  the  gulf,  although  the  home  banks  are  better. 

Shore  fishing  was  the  easiest,  and  produced  better  fish,  but  the  bank  fishing 

1   C11,  vol.  38. 


was  preferred  as  it  was  easier  to  get  men,  and  the  schooners  employed  in  it  could 
be  loaded  for  French  ports  in  the  autumn. 

When  a  quintal  of  fish  would  buy  a  barrel  of  flour  or  one  of  salt,  the  trade 
was  on  a  sound  basis.  PreVost  estimated  the  profits  of  the  merchants  at  twenty- 
five  or  thirty  per  cent.  They  obtained  six  months  credit  on  many  French 
goods,  such  as  those  of  Montauban  and  Beauvais,  and  on  sailcloth,  and  they  did 
a  good  trade  with  the  French  Windward  Islands  in  their  schooners.  The  trade 
with  these  islands  would  be  much  improved  if  their  merchants  were  prohibited 
from  sending  rum  to  St.  Eustache  and  the  other  foreign  islands,  for  if  it  all  came 
to  Louisbourg  it  would  greatly  increase  the  trade  of  that  place.  The  traffic  in 
New  England  vessels  was  an  advantage,  for  the  old  vessels  in  which  the  purchasers 
came  from  the  southern  colonies  were  not  broken  up,  but  were  bought  by  the 
inhabitants  for  the  coasting  trade. 

Two  causes,  therefore,  forced  Louisbourg  into  being  the  entrep6t  at  which 
a  distribution  of  commodities  from  various  sources  could  be  carried  on.  These 
were  the  abhorrence  of  the  shipowner  for  a  voyage  in  ballast  or  partly  laden,  the 
equal  abhorrence  of  the  trader  for  an  adverse  balance  compelling  payment  in 
money  for  his  purchases. 

More  shipping  capacity  was  required  to  export  the  fish  of  Louisbourg  than 
to  carry  thither  the  imports  of  the  place.  The  owners  loaded  the  vessels  to  their 
capacity,  and  this  surplus  had  to  find  an  outlet.  Thus  Louisbourg  became  a 
trading  centre,  as  it  were,  a  clearing-house,  where  France,  Canada,  New  England, 
and  the  West  Indies  mutually  exchanged  the  commodities  their  vessels  had 
brought,  to  avoid  making  unprofitable  the  round  voyage,  which  would  have 
unduly  enhanced  the  cost  of  its  fish.  The  tobacco,  rum,  and  sugar  of  the  West 
Indies,  the  cloths  of  Carcassone,  the  wines  of  Provence,  sailcloths  and  linens, 
came  to  Louisbourg,  far  in  excess  of  the  possibilities  of  local  use,  and  were  sent 
out  again.  The  permitted  trades  with  Canada  and  the  French  islands  could  not 
absorb  them,  so  the  thrifty  Acadian  housewife  bought  from  Louisbourg  the  few 
luxuries  of  her  frugal  life.  The  more  prosperous  New  England  trader,  who 
supplied  Louisbourg  with  building  materials,  with  food,  with  planks  and  oaken 
staves,  thence  exported  to  the  sugar  islands,  took  in  exchange  the  commodities 
of  France  and  the  rum-stuff  of  these  islands.  The  towns  of  France  furnished 
part  at  least  of  the  sailcloth  for  his  many  vessels  engaged  in  freighting  and  trade 
from  Newfoundland  to  the  West  Indies.  Much  of  this  trade  was  illicit.  The 
meagre  returns  of  the  commerce  show  this  clearly.  We  have  for  1740  the 
number  of  vesssels  and  their  tonnage,  as  well  as  their  declared  cargoes  inwards 
and  outwards.  The  number  of  vessels  from  New  England  was  39,  their 
aggregate  tonnage  1131,  their  cargoes  were  : 






Cows  . 
Bricks,  M.  . 
Planks,  M.  . 
Sageaux  Bus. 
Indian  corn  . 
Shingles,  M. 
Pork(lbs.)  . 
Pipes  (gross) 
Bureaus  and  chest 

of  drawers 
Rice  (cwt.)  . 
Axes    . 
Pigs     . 
Oxen   . 
Sheep  . 
Pears  and    apples, 

etc.  (qts.). 


24     @  50  1. 
58          15 

443         3° 

















Rum  (bbls.).  . 

Molasses  (bbls.) 

Brandy  (kegs) 

Iron  (cwt.)    . 



Coal  (bbls.)     . 

Iron  for  anchors  (cwt.) 





&  05  1. 

















Unless  the  measurement  of  vessels  has  materially  changed  it  seems  obvious 
that  neither  inward  nor  outward  was  an  adequate  lading  declared.  Incidentally 
one  may  note  the  higher  state  of  New  England  industry.  The  surplus  of  their 
fields  and  their  handicrafts  were  exported.  Isle  Royale  returned  to  her  the 
products  of  other  places  with  the  exception  of  the  trifling  shipment  of  coal. 
The  advantages  of  her  superb  situation  for  the  fisheries,  the  skill  and  enterprise 
with  which  her  people  prosecuted  them,  were  minimized  by  her  unfortunate 
position  as  regards  the  sparsity  of  her  population,  the  uncertainty  and  high  cost 
of  its  sustenance. 

Much  of  this  trade  was  done  with  Louisbourg,  much  of  it  through  Canso, 
where  so  important  a  merchant  of  Boston  as  Faneuil l  had  a  resident  partner. 
The  trade  was  known  to  the  authorities,  both  English  and  French. 

This  intercourse  had  a  further  development.  The  French  bought  the  fish 
of  the  New  Englanders.  The  intercourse  for  this  trading  begun  before  the  war, 
continued  at  Martengo,  the  first  harbour  to  the  westward  of  Canso,  where  both 
met  and  exchanged  their  commodities  untroubled  by  officials.  It  has  been 
interpreted  that  this  meant  that  the  superior  enterprise  of  the  New  England  man 
enabled  him  to  catch  fish  cheaper  than  the  French.2  A  sounder  view  would 
seem  to  be  that  through  Louisbourg  was  the  easiest  channel  for  him  to  get  the 
French  commodities  the  British  provinces  required,  and  that  he  found  that  the 

1  See  p.  399. 

2   Wceden,  p.  596. 


Louisbourg  merchant  could  dispose  of  his  fish  to  better  advantage  than  he  had 
found  as  the  result  of  his  shipments  to  Toulon  and  Marseilles.1 

In  the  commercial  interest  of  France  and  England  is  found  the  cause  of 
complacency  with  which  their  Governments  looked  on  this  illicit  trade.  The 
merchants  of  these  countries  were  continually  in  a  position  to  point  out  that  an 
outlet  for  home  manufactures  and  other  products  would  be  lessened  if  the  trade 
were  checked,  so  that  nothing  was  done  in  this  direction.  It  was  not  the 
peculiar  offence  of  the  colonist.  The  impulses  of  commerce  are  ever  towards 
expansion  and  to  profits.  The  predominant  share  of  outfitters  in  the  mother 
country  in  these  trades,  the  greater  ease  with  which,  as  compared  with  the 
colonist,  their  influence  could  be  brought  to  bear  on  the  official,  so  frequently 
a  sharer  in  mercantile  ventures,  made  it  easy  to  ignore  laws  which  checked 
profitable  trade.  The  influence  of  the  City  was  potent  in  Westminster  and 
Whitehall.  When  the  Ohio  Company  embroiled  France  and  England,  its 
English  shareholders  prevailed  on  the  Ministry  to  take  a  firm  position,  with  a 
promptness  which  would  have  been  wanting  had  its  only  shareholders  been 
Virginian  planters  and  merchants.  A  seizure  of  a  contraband  trader  in  Isle 
Royale  touched  the  interests  not  only  of  the  Louisbourg  agent,  but  of  his 
principal  in  Bordeaux,  Bayonne,  or  Marseilles,  and  he,  like  his  London  confrere, 
had  means  of  bringing  influences  to  bear  on  Ministers,  which  led  to  the 
discouragement  of  too  zealous  administrators.  These  influences,  creditable  or 
the  reverse,  were  backed  by  the  fact  that  French  industry  or  French  commerce 
in  a  particular  case  would  be  hurt.2  The  concrete  prevailed  over  the  general 
theory,  with  peculiar  ease,  as  the  theory  was  unsound. 

This  line  of  argument  is  supported  by  the  fact  that  where  interests  of  the 
French  merchant'came  into  conflict  with  those  of  the  colonist  the  latter  suffered. 
Raudot,  it  may  be  said  again,  with  remarkable  prescience  saw  that  if  Isle  Royale 
was  to  really  flourish,  it  should  have  free  trade  with  New  England.  Costebelle, 
an  experienced  administrator,  after  a  little  experience  at  Louisbourg,  saw  the 
necessity  of  this,  and  recommended  it  to  the  Regency  (April  19,  1717)  ;  but  he 
adds  with  bitterness  : 

"  He  is  persuaded  that  the  merchants  of  France  will  always  strenuously  oppose  it,  being 
aware  that  the  restriction  (on  foreign  trade)  will  leave  them  always  able  to  keep  under  their 
yoke  like  slaves  the  inhabitants  of  the  colonies,  whom  they  will  sustain  and  support  only  in 
as  much  as  their  labours  contribute  to  the  profit  of  the  commerce  "  (of  France). 

In  this  he  was  right,  for  the  threat  of  the  French  merchants  to  send  no 
vessels  to  Isle  Royale,  if  this  were  permitted,  ended  the  matter.  Had  it  been 

1  This  New  England  trade  with  these  ports  was,  nevertheless,  very  important  (Weeden,  p.  659).     On  these  trades  as 
well  as  that  of  Isle  Royale  he  quotes  Bollan,  118-120  (Mass.  Arch.  14,  p.  560,  and  22,  p.  21). 

2  See  Appendix  on  illicit  trading. 



proposed  later  when  the  illicit  trade  with  New  England  was  in  full  operation, 
their  view  would  have  been  different;  but  by  1727  the  question  was  no  longer 
open.  In  that  year  the  Government  of  Louis  XV.  had  committed  itself  to  pro- 
hibition of  foreign  trade. 

Again  Bigot,  who  was  an  accomplished  official,  and  understood  the  value  of 
making  no  troublesome  suggestions  to  an  easy-going  Minister,  wished  Isle  Royale 
cod  to  take  the  place  of  Irish  beef  in  the  sugar  islands.  He  spoke  of  it  as  only 
possible  if  it  were  not  detrimental  to  the  interests  of  the  merchants  of  the 

The  comparisons  which  had  been  made  between  the  economic  conditions  of 
New  England  and  Canada,  not  only  in  English,  but  by  Charlevoix  and  other 
French  writers,  the  assumption  that  in  industries  connected  with  the  sea  the 
English  always  had  a  marked  superiority,  make  the  conclusions  as  to  the 
economic  importance  of  Louisbourg  surprising.  We  find  that  it  was  a  source  of 
wealth  to  France,  that  it  surpassed  the  colonies  of  England  engaged  in  the  same 
trade,  and  that  the  most  important  in  which  the  northern  colonies  of  both  France 
and  England  were  engaged. 

The  facts  as  to  the  trade  on  which  this  opinion  is  based  are  given  later  in 
this  work.  There  is  also  abundant  evidence  that  English  and  colonial  observers 
were  fully  alive  to  a  progress  which  excited  their  admiration,  envy,  and  fear. 

Shirley's  estimate  is  that  the  fisheries  were  worth  annually  a  million  sterling.1 
A  French  writer  says  that  the  whole  value  of  the  fishing  of  New  England  is 
worth^  1 38, ooo.2  This  is  confirmed  by  an  English  writer  who  says  that  in  1759 
the  French  had  nine  hundred  ships,  and  that  the  English  trade  was  declining. 
Auchmuty,  the  first  to  get  in  print  with  a  proposal  to  capture  Isle  Royale,  says 
its  fisheries  were  worth  £2,000,000,  confirmed  again  by  a  "  Gentleman  of  a  Large 
Trade  in  the  City  of  London"  (London,  1746),  who  says  French  trade  is  in- 
creasing, English  diminishing.  The  English  fleet  outnumbered  the  French  in 
1700  five  to  one,  and  now  was  less  than  the  French,  and  he  confirms  or  repeats 
Shirley's  estimate  of  its  value  as  a  million.  The  writer  adds  with  wisdom  that 
Fleury  contributed  to  this  result  by  promoting  competition  with  England,  and 
made  "  war  upon  this  Kingdom  by  all  the  arts  of  peace."  "  An  Accurate 
Description  of  Cape  Breton,"  1758,  speaks  of  Raudot's  scheme  for  its  settlement 
as  "a  beautiful  and  well-digested  project,"  and  confirms  the  other  opinions  of  its 
value.  "A  Letter  to  the  Right  Hon.  W.  P."  (Exon.,  1758)  says  that  if  things 
had  gone  on  as  they  had  been,  the  French  "  would  have  beat  us  out  of  the  Trade 
of  Europe."  "The  Advantages  of  the  Definite  Treaty"  (London,  1749)  says 
that  had  the  French  not  been  molested,  in  a  few  years  they  would  have  totally 
ruined  British  foreign  trade  ;  "  as  it  was,  they  had  in  a  manner  beat  us  out  of  our 

1   C.O.  5/900,  f.  212,  and  Appendix.  a  Hiit.  et  commerce  det  colonies  ang!sises,  Paris,  1755. 


Levant  Trade,  our  Fishing  Trade,  and  our  Sugar  Trade  "  ;  and  "  A  Letter  from 
a  Gentleman  in  London  to  his  Friend  in  the  Country"  (London,  1748),  in  a 
eulogy  of  Cape  Breton,  says,  "  in  no  part  of  the  world  is  the  cod  fishing  carried 
on  with  better  success." 

Every  chapter  of  Weeden  which  deals  with  the  fisheries  speaks  of  their 
fundamental  importance.  Douglass  (vol.  i.  p.  6)  says  : 

"  The  French  had  already  the  better  of  us  in  the  fishery  trade,  and  in  a  few  years  more 
would  have  supplied  all  the  markets  of  Europe,  and,  by  underselling,  entirely  excluded  us 
from  the  cod  fishery,  which  is  more  beneficial  and  easier  wrought  than  the  Spanish  mines  of 
Mexico  and  Peru." 

This  the  writers  of  the  Memorials  to  Pontchartrain,  1706-9,  foresaw.  The 
alarmed  pamphleteer  in  1746,  about  the  same  time  as  Douglass  wrote  the 
above,  says  : 

"  In  that  Piece  the  Author  having  observed  that  the  English  Nation  is  too  apt  to  have 
a  mean  Opinion  of  the  Trade  and  Navigation  of  its  Rivals,  especially  the  French,  and  was 
not  convinced  of  its  Mistake,  'till  the  Incidents  of  the  present  War,  the  numerous  French 
Fleets,  and  large  Prizes  Open'd  our  Eyes ;  he  proceeds  to  shew  the  Steps  by  which  the 
French  [Commerce  and  Colonies,  from  being  inferior  to  ours,  have  risen  to  a  dangerous 
Superiority  over  us,  in  less  than  half  a  Century. 

"For  this  Purpose  a  Council  of  Commerce  was  established  in  the  Year  1700.  .  .  . 

"  Since  this  Establishment,  and  in  Consequence  of  the  Memorials  presented  by  them  to 
the  Royal  Council,  containing  Propositions  for  Regulations  and  Remedies  in  Trade,  being 
thoroughly  executed,  c  the  Trade  of  France  has  been  extended  to  the  Levant,  the  North 
Africa,  North  America,  the  South  Seas,  and  to  the  East  and  West  Indies,  even  so  far  as  to 
make  more  than  double  the  Value  in  Sugar,  Indigo,  Ginger,  and  Cotton,  in  their  IVest 
India  Islands  than  what  is  now  made  by  the  English,  who  before  that  Time  exceeded  the 
French  in  this  Branch  of  Trade  abundantly.' 

"In  the  Article  of  Sugar  they  are  increased  from  30,000  to  120,000  Hogsheads 
English  in  a  Year  (i.e.  as  3  to  12  or  I  to  4).  Two  Thirds  of  which  are  shipped  to 
Holland,  Hamburgh^  Spain  and  other  foreign  Markets. 

"  In  the  same  Time  the  English  have  encreased  from  about  45,000  to  no  more  than 
70,000  Hogsheads,  i.e.  as  9  to  14,  not  near  double,  'of  which  they  now  send  but  little  to 
foreign  Markets,  altho'  they  had  formerly  the  best  Share  of  that  Trade,  and  even  supplied 
France  with  Sugars.'  And  moreover  the  French  have  already  engrossed  the  Indigo  Trade 
from  the  English,  and  have  greatly  encreased  in  the  Fisheries,  and  Beaver  and  other  Fur 
Trade  in  North  America,  since  their  Settlement  of  Cape  Breton,  which  they  have  fortified 
at  a  vast  Expence  ; — and  it  is  from  this  last  mentioned  Trade,  and  their  Fisheries,  that  they 
find  a  Vent  for  most  of  their  Molasses  and  Rum  that  the  English  do  not  take  off 
their  Hands. 

"  These  Advantages  gain'd  by  the  French  are  conspicuous  from  the  immense  Sums 
which  'They  drew  annually  from  other  Countries,  and  which  enable  them  to  maintain 
powerful  Armies,  and  afford  such  plentiful  Subsidies  and  Pensions  to  several  Powers  and 


People  in   Europe :    From   hence   they   build  their   Ships   of  War,   and  maintain    Seamen  to 
supply  them. 

"It  is  computed  that  they  draw  from  two  to  three  Millions  of  Pounds  Sterling  per 
annum  from  foreign  Countries,  in  return  only  for  Sugar,  Indigo,  Coffee,  Ginger,  Beaver 
manufactured  into  Hats,  Salt-Fish  and  other  American  Products,  and  near  one  Million 
more  from  Great  Britain  and  Ireland  only,  in  Wool  and  Cash,  in  return  for  Cambricks, 
Tea,  Brandy  and  Wine,  and  thereby  fight  us  in  Trade,  as  well  as  at  War,  with  our  own 
Weapons.  But  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  the  Measures  lately  taken  by  the  British  Legislature 
to  prevent  the  Importation  of  foreign  Cambricks  and  Tea,  and  the  taking  and  keeping 
of  Cape  Breton,  will  be  attended  with  considerable  national  Advantages."  l 

The  opinions  of  London  pamphleteers  were  confirmed  by  the  soldier  on 
the  ground,  Amherst's  instructions  to  Whitmore,  August  28,  1758  : 

"I  would  have  the  settlements  in  the  different  parts  of  the  island  absolutely  destroyed, 
it  may  be  done  in  a  quiet  way,  but  pray  let  them  be  entirely  demolished,  &  for  these 
reasons,  that  in  the  flourishing  state  this  island  was  growing  to  many  years  wd  not  have 
passed  before  the  inhabitants  wd.  have  been  sufficient  to  have  defended  it."5 

Further  and  conclusive  testimony  is  borne  to  the  soundness  of  the  trade 
of  Louisbourg,  by  the  fact  that  it  was  always  on  a  specie  basis.  Its  commerce 
never  suffered  from  paper  money,  as  did  that  of  the  British  colonies  and 
Quebec.  The  expression  that  Louisbourg  was  a  clearing-house  is  further 
justified  by  a  statement  of  Prevost  to  the  effect  that  the  New  England  traders 
could  pass  there  Spanish  gold  and  silver  which  was  not  current  in  the  French 
West  Indies. 

This  consensus  of  opinion,8  in  addition  to  the  returns  of  the  trade,  shows 
that  Isle  Royale  had  completely  justified  the  memorialists  who  had  urged  its 
establishment.  Nor  was  this  trade — in  value,  say,  three  million  livres  a  year — 
brought  into  being  at  an  excessive  price.  Roughly  speaking,  for  to  analyze 
the  figures  contained  in  returns  would  require  an  expert  accountant ;  the 
outlay  of  the  Government,  including  the  cost  of  the  fortifications,  which 
was  yearly  about  130,000  1.,  was,  say,  ten  per  cent  of  the  trade.  In  other 
words,  had  a  private  Company  taken  up  Isle  Royale,  as  was  proposed  before 
its  settlement,  and  carried  on  its  business,  had  such  a  thing  been  possible,  even 
spending  as  lavishly  on  administration  and  defence  as  the  King,  it  would  have 
been  a  not  unprofitable  venture.  There  has  been  much  exaggeration  as  to  the 
outlay  on  the  fortifications.  Contemporary  and  later  writers  have  spoken 
lightly  of  millions.  The  accounts  do  not  indicate  any  large  total.  The 

1  ''Two  Letters  concerning  some  further  Advantages  and  Improvements  that  may  seem  necessary  to  be  made  on  the 
taking  and  keeping  of  Cape  Breton  "  (London,  1746).  It  quotes  "State  of  the  British  and  French  Trade  to  Africa  and 
America  considered,"  London,  1745.  2  C.O.  5/53,  Amherst  to  Whitmore,  Aug.  28,  1758. 

3  I  have  found  no  other  view  expressed  by  any  writer  of  the  period. 


memoir  on  this  subject1  given  to  the  King  in  1743,  makes  the  total  about 
3,500,000!.,  a  larger  amount  than  seems  justified  by  the  returns  of  the 

Isle  Royale  was  not  the  only  fishing  establishment,  but  it  was  most 
important ;  as  an  entrep6t,  it  as  fully  served  its  purpose  as  the  economic 
principles  of  the  age  permitted.  The  course  of  the  narrative  has  indicated  that 
the  unfavourable  conditions  at  Louisbourg  were  not  peculiar  to  that  place, 
for  those  of  Canso  and  Annapolis  Royal  were  as  bad  as  under  the  French 
regime.  The  British  Government  was  as  deaf  to  the  appeals  of  its  local 
officials,  and  as  late  in  taking  action,  as  was  Maurepas.  Newfoundland  had  a 
population  of  4000  in  1713  and  6000  in  1755.  Canso  remained  about 
stationary  throughout  this  period,  so  that  the  progress  of  Isle  Royale  compares 
well  with  that  of  the  two  British  settlements  nearest  to  it,  not  only  geographically, 
but  in  the  pursuits  of  their  people.  The  fisherman  justified  himself  commercially 
at  Isle  Royale.  His  rulers  made  no  gains  in  Europe  to  counterbalance  the 
injuries  to  the  commonwealth  resulting  from  their  neglect  to  safeguard  his 
industry.  When  the  victories  of  peace  come  to  be  as  highly  esteemed  as 
those  of  war,  the  French  historian,  who  then  writes  of  the  colonial  development 
of  his  country  under  the  Bourbon  kings,  will  have  more  pride  than  our  con- 
temporaries in  writing  of  Isle  Royale.  He  can  then  point  out  that  the 
American  colonies  of  his  country  were  lost,  by  her  rival,  beaten  in  the  arts 
of  peaceful  development,  wresting  them  with  a  strong  hand  from  the  govern- 
ment of  his  ancestors  incapable  in  the  last  resort  to  force  of  defending  possessions 
so  valuable. 

After  this  digression,  it  seems  desirable  to  touch  on  the  human  side 
of  life  in  the  little  town  before  narrating  the  culminating  incident  of  its 

The  increase  in  its  garrison  overcrowded  it,  and  pushed  settlements  of 
others  than  farmers  out  into  the  environs.8 

Under  ordinary  circumstances  such  increase  of  the  population  would  have 
raised  prices.  When  the  effect  of  a  heightened  demand  was  increased,  through 
a  diminished  supply,  the  aggravation  of  the  economic  position  was  extreme. 
Important  sources  of  supply  were  cut  off"  by  the  embargo  on  exportation  from 
the  British  Colonies,  the  active  efforts  of  Cornwallis  to  stop  any  supply  from 
Nova  Scotia,  and  the  captures  of  vessels  by  the  blockading  fleets. 

1  C11,  L.R.  vol.  26,  f.  219. 

8  There  are  two  sources  of  information  on  this  subject,  besides  occasional  references  in  the  general  correspondence, 
Arch.  Col.  Amerique  du  Nord  Isle  Royale,  vols.  8  and  n,  and  Arch.  Marine  G,  vols.  52,  53,  and  54;  the  latter  gives 
a  short  annual  statement  from  1733,  of  various  statistics  about  the  colony. 

8  Chassin  de  Thierry,  Senior  Captain  of  the  garrison,  lived  about  five  miles  from  town  on  the  Mir6  Road 
(Dcrniers  Jours,  etc.  p.  215). 

230  A  MEAGRE  WAY  OF  LIFE  1749-1758 

It  was  at  best  of  times  a  community  with  little  money  ;  military  salaries 
were  low,  as  were  those  of  other  officials.1 

This  involved  a  meagre  life,  occasionally  relieved  by  a  place  at  the  table 
of  the  more  fortunate.  Drucour  recounts  the  following  incident  in  a  letter 
to  Surlaville:2  "  Mme.  de  la  Boularderie  has  just  dined  here;  we  drank  your 
health,  and  she  told  us  you  made  her  so  merry  that  she  saw  eight  candles 
instead  of  one  ;  we  did  not  carry  things  as  far." 

Johnstone  was  delighted  to  have  permission  to  embark  ten  or  twelve 
days  before  the  vessel  sailed  on  a  voyage  to  France,  "  in  order  to  repair  the 
bad  fare  which  I  had  during  a  year  at  Louisbourg,  which  ordinarily  consisted 
during  the  winter  solely  of  cod-fish  and  hog's  lard,  and  during  the  summer, 
fresh  fish,  bad  salt  rancid  butter,  and  bad  oil." 

Captain  Hale  wrote  after  being  in  Louisbourg  with  a  flag  of  truce  in  1756  : 

"  I  assure  you  fish  dressed  in  various  ways  makes  up  a  great  part  of  their  entertainment " 
(Ad.  Des.  i,  481). 

M.  Joubert  writes  in  January,  1757  : 

"  II  n'y  a  rien  de  nouveau  ycy  depuis  mes  dernieres  ;  nous  sommes  tous  r^duits  a 
la  sapinette  (spruce  beer)  .  .  ." 4 

The  cuisine  of  Louisbourg  had  other  resources  than  cod  :  Johnstone's 

"an  excellent  Jack  of  all  trades,  expert  for  furnishing  my  table,  bringing  generally 
eight  or  ten  dozen  of  trouts,  in  two  hours'  fishing  with  the  line,  the  streams  in  the 
neighbourhood  being  very  full  of  fish."5 

The  prevalence  of  gambling  circumscribed  the  opportunities  of  the  poorest 
of  the  officers  for  going  into  society.  Des  Bourbes  writes  : 

"  I  am  a  useless  member  of  a  society  where  there  is  nothing  but  gambling,  I  am  not 
in  demand  as  I  do  not  wish  to  play,  and  cannot  do  so.  I  go  out  only  to  pay  my  respects, 
and  find  gaming  tables  everywhere  ;  I  watch  the  players  for  a  second  or  two  ;  I  sit 
in  an  armchair  out  of  decency  and  this  politeness  on  my  part  is  most  boring  .  .  ." 6 

Johnstone  found  : 

".  .  .  the  society  of  the  ladies  of  the  place  very  amiable,  but  having  always  cards 
in  their  hands,  my  avocations  would  not  permit  of  me  daily  to  make  one  of  their  parties  .  .  ."7 

1  Captains,  loSo  1. ;  lieutenant,  720!.;  enaeigne  en  pied,  480!.;  cnscigne  en  second,  360!.  So  hard  was  the 
position  of  the  junior  officers  that  after  1754  a  bonus  of  6000 1.  annually  was  divided  among  the  lieutenants  and 
ensigns.  The  Governor's  salary  was  9000  1.,  with  a  bonus  of  6000  1.  Surlaville  says  the  Governor's  position  in  salary, 
bonus,  and  allowance  was  worth  19,800!.,  and  that  the  nominal  salary  of  the  Commissaire-Ordonnateur  of  2400!.  was 
raised  in  the  same  way  to  6000  1.  Compared  with  similar  positions  to-day  these  emoluments  were  not  inconsiderable, 
but  in  all  the  subaltern  positions  the  pay  was  small,  and  was  eked  out  by  frugality  or  commercial  ventures. 

J  See  Demurs  yours,  etc.  p.  128.  3  Memoirs  of  the  Chevalier  Johmtone,  vol.  ii.  p.  172. 

4   Dernien  Jourt,  etc.  p.  213.  5  Memoirs,  etc.  vol.  ii.  p.  179. 

*  Dernieri  yours,  etc.  p.  182.  1  Memoirs,  etc.  vol.  ii.  p.  178. 

1749-1758       JEALOUSIES  AMONG  THE  OFFICERS  231 

Both  he  and  Des  Bourbes  speak  with  thankfulness  of  a  taste  for  study  which 
lightened  the  dreariness  of  their  narrow  life.  Others  had  less  innocent 
pastimes.  Duels  were  not  infrequent,  and  we  have  one  instance  of  the 
misery  caused  by  jealousy  in  the  suicide  of  the  unfortunate  Montalembert. 
He  was  driven  to  distraction  by  the  liaison  of  his  wife  with  one  of  the  officers 
of  Bourgogne,  whom  even  at  the  time  of  her  marriage  she  preferred  to  the 
elderly  husband  chosen  by  her  mother.1 

The  rivalries  and  jealousies  between  different  factions  in  the  service 
were  many.  Few  towns  could  have  had  more.  There  was  the  common  one 
of  antagonism  between  the  gens  de  I'epJe  and  the  gens  de  la  plume, 
the  military  and  civil  orders  of  the  administration,  mitigated  in  this  case  by 
the  ascendency  Prevost  had  gained  over  Drucour. 

There  was  the  antagonism  not  only  between  the  army  and  the  navy, 
but  also  between  naval  officers  serving  afloat  and  on  shore.  The  old  Companies 
officers  had  grievances  against  those  of  the  Companies  raised  in  1749.  All 
these  were  on  indifferent  or  hostile  terms  with  the  officers  of  Canada,  who 
were  occasionally  transferred  from  Beausejour  to  Louisbourg  ;  while  Artois 
and  Bourgogne  aroused  in  the  breasts  of  the  ordinary  garrison  those  feelings 
which  it  seems  the  fate  of  regular  troops  of  all  countries  to  excite  among 
their  colonial  fellows  ;  while  all  of  them  were  agreed  in  thinking  the  honours  paid 
to  Franquet  were  excessive. 

At  Louisbourg  this  jealousy  produced  its  evil  effects ;  Du  Caubet,  an 
officer  of  the  Louisbourg  garrison,  was  detached  for  service  at  Beausejour. 
There  he  met  the  Langis  brothers,  officers  of  Canada,  and  a  quarrel  broke 
out.  It  reached,  at  Louisbourg,  where  they  had  both  returned,  its  fatal 
end.  One  evening  Du  Caubet  was  found  in  his  quarters  dead  from  many 
barbarous  wounds.  It  was  an  open  secret  that  the  elder  Langis  was  the 
instigator  of  the  deed.  An  inquiry  was  held,  but  led  to  nothing,  and 
Langis  escaped  punishment.  Pichon  looked  on  this  as  significant,  for  he 
says,  "  The  colonial  officer  would  like  to  do  as  much  to  the  last  of  the  French 
officers."  2 

It  was  Prevost,  however,  who  drew  down  on  himself  the  most  universal 
dislike.  Such  was  the  fate  of  the  Intendant  or  his  equivalent  the  Com- 
missaire-Ordonnateur  in  most  colonies,  unless  he  were  a  man  of  rare  tact 
and  judgment.  This  Prevost  was  not.  Neither  Des  Herbiers  nor  Raymond 
approved  of  him,  but  on  the  other  hand  he  succeeded  in  making  himself 
indispensable  to  Drucour.  On  one  side  there  are  incidents  to  show  that 
Prevost  was  a  man  of  independence.  He  refused,  for  example,  to  assist  in 

1  See  Derniers  Jours,  etc.  pp.  149,  214. 
2  "L'Officier  colon  voudroit  en  faire  autant  au  dernier  des  officiers  de  France  "  (Derniers  Jourt,  etc.  p.  131). 

232  PREVOST  1749-1758 

carrying  out  the  categorical  orders  of  La  Jonquiere  to  seize  English  vessels  in 
the  Port  of  Louisbourg  ;  and  his  correspondence  with  the  Minister  is  that  of 
a  man  of  parts. 

On  the  other  hand,  there  are  incidents  which  show  that  he  was  small 
and  vindictive,  perhaps  to  a  greater  extent  than  might  be  expected  from 
any  man  of  low  birth  and  unattractive  manners,  occupying  a  position  which 
gave  him  power  to  retaliate  for  the  annoyances  and  indignities  inflicted  on 
him  by  his  social  superiors.  He  tells  himself  of  the  humiliations  to  which 
he  was  subjected  on  his  official  visit  to  De  BaufFremont's  ship.  De  Bauffrcmont 
was  absent,  but  his  officers  were  of  the  same  opinion  as  their  commander,  who 
"  always  treated  him  (Prevost)  as  the  last  of  miscreants."  The  officers  of 
the  colonial  troops,  as  well  as  those  of  Artois  and  Bourgogne,  also  sent  him 
to  Coventry  and  refused  his  invitations. 

Johnstone  relates  one  striking  instance  of  his  insubordination  : 

"When  the  English  fleet  appeared  before  Louisbourg  in  1757,  all  the  troops  marched 
out  upon  the  instant  to  man  the  intrenchments  ...  in  order  to  oppose  their  landing, 
and  .  .  .  our  surgeon-general  having  given  M.  St.  Julien  a  recipe  for  a  sling,  some 
spirits,  and  other  things  necessary  for  dressing  wounds.  Provost  replied  to  M.  St.  Julien, 
commandant  by  seniority  of  all  our  troops,  that  *  there  was  nothing  at  all  in  the  King's 
magazines,  that  if  the  English  forced  our  entrenchments,  it  would  fall  to  them  to  take 
care  of  our  wounded,  and  if  we  repulsed  them,  they  would  have  to  look  after  them.'  M. 
St.  Julien  reported  immediately  the  affair  with  his  complaints  to  M.  Bois  de  la  Motte, 
who  at  the  instant  landed  at  nine  o'clock  at  night,  proceeded  directly  to  Prevost's  house, 
and  having  threatened  to  set  it  on  fire,  and  to  send  him  back  to  France,  if  everything 
which  the  store  contained  was  not  ready  by  the  next  day,  in  the  morning,  all  was 
furnished,  to  the  great  disappointment  of  this  inhuman  monster,  who  wished  from  his 
hatred  to  all  the  officers,  to  make  these  brave  people  perish  for  want  of  assistance, 
and  he  wept  through  rage." 1 

Nevertheless,  he  managed  to  have  some  friends,  partly  owing  to  the  chance 
of  his  having  married  on  February  14,  1745,  a  very  attractive  demoiselle 
Marie  Therese  Carrerot,  the  daughter  of  one  of  the  principal  merchants  of 
the  place.  The  power  of  conferring  benefits  gave  him  some  allies  and  associates. 
Their  sentiments  find  expression  in  a  madrigal,  the  joint  efforts  of  the  Pere 
Alexis  of  the  Freres  de  la  Charite,  and  M.  Beaudeduit,  one  of  the  Conseil 
Superieur.  The  poem  was  presented  to  him  at  an  entertainment  in  his  house, 
and  goes  as  follows  : 

A  la  paix  toujours  tranquille 
Prcvost  donne  un  sure  asile. 
Qu'il  est  doux  de  vivrc  sous  ces  loix  ! 
Les  plaisirs  renaisscnt  a  sa  voix. 

1    See  Memoirt  cf  the  Chevalier  Jthnstone,  vol.  ii.  p.  181,  note. 

1755-1758  DRUCOUR  233 

Provost  veut  tout  obeir  ; 
La  paix  vient,  le  trouble  fuit ; 
Sous  luy  Ton  voit  la  justice 
Triompher  de  1'artifice.1 

The  most  striking  figure  in  Louisbourg  at  this  time,  even  by  standards 
other  than  that  of  official  position,  was  the  Chevalier  de  Drucour,  its  Governor, 
a  younger  son  of  a  noble  Norman  family,  who  entered  the  service  in  1719. 
His  career  was  successful ;  while  still  a  lieutenant  he  was  appointed  Lieutenant 
of  the  Gardes  de  la  Marine  (Midshipmen)  at  Brest,  and  later  Commandant  of 
that  corps,  a  responsible  position,  for  which  he  was  selected  without  personal 
solicitation,  on  account  of  his  wisdom  and  good  conduct.  In  discharging  the 
social  duties  of  this  position  by  entertaining  the  young  noblemen  under  his 
charge,  he  exhausted  not  only  his  salary  and  income,  but  seriously  cut  into  his 
patrimony,  which  he  completely  exhausted  in  the  expenses  incident  to  taking 
up  the  Governorship  of  Louisbourg.  He  further  involved  his  affairs  by 
obtaining  advances  from  his  brother,  the  Baron  de  Drucour,  and  the  expenses 
of  his  administration  left  him  penniless.  It  is  obvious  from  this  conduct  of  his 
affairs  that  Drucour  was  one  of  those  nobles  who  preferred  to  maintain  the 
dignity  of  any  position  to  which  his  sovereign  had  called  him,  rather  than 
exercise  a  reasonable  regard  for  his  private  interests.  He  even  did  this  with  a 
liberality  which  seems  unnecessary,  for  in  rearranging  the  canteens  he  abandoned 
to  the  Majors  of  the  place  that  share  of  the  profits  which  had  been  the  perquisite 
of  every  preceding  Governor.2 

In  the  arrangements  he  made,  he  went  contrary  to  the  opinion  of  the 
Company  officers,  but  neither  this  nor  any  other  of  his  acts  gave  rise  to  any 
criticism  excepting  that  PreVost  had  gained  an  undue  ascendency  over  him,  and 
that  his  judgment  of  men  was  not  discriminating.  No  one  writes  of  him  except 
in  praise,  and  his  good  sense  and  firmness  are  more  than  once  spoken  of.  The 
one  personal  letter  we  have  from  his  hand  is  that  of  a  pleasant  and  capable 
writer,  who  speaks  of  his  difficulties  without  discouragement  or  vexation. 

Madame  Drucour,  a  daughter  of  the  Courserac  family  which  had  given 
many  officers  to  the  French  navy,  did  her  part  in  making  his  regime  popular. 
She  was  a  woman  of  intelligence,  gracious  towards  every  one,  and  succeeded  in 
making  Government  House  extremely  attractive. 

Later  events  show  that,  in  addition,  she  was  a  woman  of  rare  heroism  and 

1  His  Etats  de  Service  shows  that,  notwithstanding  the  dislike  of  his  associates,  he  had  the  confidence  of  successive 
Ministers,  and  received  promotions.     It  also  shows  the  hardships  to  which  an  officer  was  exposed  in  the  Colonial  Service 
in  those  days.     It  was  not  until  1763  that  there  was  any  effective  examination  of  his  conduct.     In  consequence  of  the 
trial  of  de  la  Borde,  treasurer  of  1'Isle  Royale,  Prevost,  by  order  of  April   18,  was  arrested,  and  taken  to  the  Bastille 
(Marine  B,  vol.   117).     On  the  loth   April  1764  he  was  set  at  liberty,  but  was  never  again  to  be  employed  in  any 
position  of  confidence  (Marine  B,  vol.  120). 

2  The  right  to  sell  to  the  troops  brought  in  about  3000  1.  to  the  Governor  (Papiers  Surlaville). 


a  devoted  wife.  It  may  be  noted,  in  passing,  that  the  first  and  last  Governors 
of  Louisbourg  both  married  widows,  were  splendidly  mated,  and  left  them  in 
extreme  poverty.  Madame  de  Drucour  was  the  widow  of  a  Savigny.  She 
received  a  pension  of  loool.,  but  died  only  a  few  weeks  after  her  husband, 
about  the  time,  October  1763,  it  was  granted.  In  granting  the  pension, 
Drucour's  character  was  recognised.  He  "  s'etoit  comporte  dans  cette  place 
avec  la  plus  grande  desinteressement  et  la  plus  grande  probite."  The  authorities 
therefore  believed  him  when  he  wrote  in  1757  : 

"J'aurai  1'exemple  d'un  seulgouverneurqui  aura  mang^son  bien  au  lieudel'augmenter."1 

Drucour's  government  was  a  time  of  continuous  trial.  In  the  first  few 
months  he  was  embarrassed  by  the  multitude  of  promises  which  Raymond  had 
made  before  leaving.  But  these  embarrassments  and  the  ordinary  trials  of  the 
head  of  a  community,  with  such  clashing  interests  as  that  of  Louisbourg,  were 
trifling  compared  with  the  difficulties  which  confronted  him  in  the  succeeding 
years.  He  had  no  control  over  the  fortifications,  the  condition  of  which  was 
unsatisfactory,  owing  to  the  Jack  of  activity  of  Franquet,  and  the  sufficient 
supply  of  men,  materials,  and  money  for  their  repair.  The  finances  were  not  in 
his  charge,  and  part  of  the  inadequate  supply  of  funds  was  stolen  by  La  Borde, 
the  Treasurer. 

The  garrison  was  too  small.  He  pointed  out  the  necessity  for  its  increase, 
proposing  that  the  companies  be  increased  to  70  men  each,  and  eight  more 
added  ;  he  emphasised  the  advantage  of  this  course  by  pointing  out  that  the 
colonial  troops  of  104  officers  and  2446  men,  the  force  he  proposed  for  the 
establishment,  would  cost  annually  166,325!.,  whereas  164  officers  and  1050 
men  of  regular  troops,  like  those  of  Artois  and  Bourgogne,  would  require  an 
annual  expenditure  of  250,109  1. 

But  more  insistent  than  the  necessity  of  making  the  place  effective  as 
the  guard  of  French  supremacy  in  America,  were  the  claims  of  subsistence 
for  its  garrison  and  its  people.  Each  year  the  port  was  blockaded,  each  year 
its  supplies  were  curtailed,  and  in  1757,  after  a  winter  in  which  not  a  family 
had  an  ounce  of  flour  in  the  house,  a  winter  so  protracted  that  there  remained 
eighteen  inches  of  snow  on  the  ground  on  the  I2th  of  May,  there  was  cause 
for  the  greatest  anxiety.  In  June  a  vessel  arrived  which  relieved  the  tension, 
but  it  was  not  until  January  6,  although  Du  Bois  de  la  Motte  had  left  all  the 
spare  provisions  from  his  ships,  that  they  felt  assured  of  sufficient  food  for 
the  winter.  Doloboratz  arrived  with  a  cargo  of  provisions  from  France  on 
that  date,  far  later  than  had  been  thought  possible  to  navigate  these  seas 
(Johnstone).  The  people  and  the  garrison  believed  during  the  greater  part 

1   A.N.  Marine  C1,  vol.  489. 

1755-1758  HIS  THWARTED  PLANS  235 

of  this  time  that  the  Royal  storehouses  contained  provisions  for  two  years, 
a  tribute  to  the  firmness  and  tact  of  Drucour  and  Prevost.  It  is  equally  to 
Drucour's  praise  that  during  the  blockade  of  Holburne  he  had  kept  in  touch 
with  Halifax.  His  scouts,  notably  Gautier,  haunted  the  outskirts  of  the 
English  settlement,  occasionally  making  captures,  sometimes  bringing  with  them 
a  willing  deserter,  at  other  times  returning  empty-handed.  This  information 
he  passed  on,  and,  in  addition,  he  promised  the  Government  that  he  would 
destroy  the  new  buildings  at  Halifax  if  provisions  arrived  by  the  middle  of 
November.  They  did  not  arrive,  and  the  project  fell  through.  In  this 
discouraging  condition,  but  undismayed,  Drucour  awaited  an  attack  which 
he  knew  was  inevitable.1 

1  Le  Loutre's  Indians,  who  flocked  to  Pile  Royale  after  the  fall  of  Beausejour,  where  they  had  been  so  bountifully 
supplied,  were  a  source  of  trouble,  and  an  additional  drain  on  the  inadequate  store  of  provisions  at  Drucour's  disposal. 
He  speaks  several  times  of  their  misery.  He  intended  to  use  them  and  the  Acadians  in  the  foray  against  Halifax. 
Boishebert  had  been  in  command  of  this  force  (280  men)  which  had  remained  in  Port  Toulouse  all  summer. 


THE  war  had  been,  so  far,  barren  of  results  satisfactory  to  the  English  people. 
It  had  yielded  only  a  succession  of  failures  or  defeats.  Pitt  described  the 
operations  of  1757  as  "  the  last  inactive  and  unhappy  Campaign,"  and  prepared 
"  for  the  most  vigorous  and  extensive  Efforts  to  avert  by  the  Blessing  of  God 
on  His  Arms,  the  Dangers  impending  in  North  America."  1 
On  the  same  day  he  wrote  to  Loudon  : 

"My  Lord,  I  am  with  concern  to  acquaint  Your  Lordship  that  the  King  has  judged 
proper  that  Your  Lordship  should  return  to  England."2 

Loudon  was  superseded  by  Abercromby,  to  whom  Pitt  addressed  a  long, 
masterly  and  lucid  statement  of  his  plans  for  I758.3 

The  reduction  of  Louisbourg  was  their  first  objective,  and  lavish  prepara- 
tions were  made  for  its  success.  Engineers  were  ordered  to  Halifax  to  prepare 
siege  material,  and  in  his  first  letter  to  Abercromby  Pitt  said  that  the  supplies 
gathered  for  Loudon  were  to  be  cared  for  and  held  in  readiness.  Troops  and 
ships  were  to  be  concentrated  at  Halifax,  so  that  the  siege  of  Louisbourg  might 
begin  as  early  in  the  year  "  as  the  Twentieth  of  April,  if  the  season  should 
happen  to  permit.4  Abercromby  was  to  apply  himself  to  other  operations. 

Fourteen  thousand  troops,  the  greater  part  regulars,  were  provided,  and 
a  General  officer  appointed  for  the  command.  Colonel  Jeffrey  Amherst,  then 
serving  in  Germany,  was  selected  and  promoted  to  the  rank  of  Major-General.5 
Amherst's  brigadiers  were  Whitmore,  Lawrence,  and  Wolfe.  Boscawen  was 
given  command  of  the  fleet,  which  was  a  force  of  twenty-three  ships  of  the 
line,  from  which  Boscawen  had  to  provide  convoys  for  the  transports.6  Hardy, 
Boscawen's  second  in  command,  had  preceded  him  to  take  up  the  blockade 
of  Louisbourg  with  eight  ships  of  the  line  and  two  frigates.  He  arrived  at 
Halifax  on  March  19,  and  left  there  on  April  5  ;  but  the  first  time  the  French 

1   Dec.  30,  1757.     Pitt  to  Governors  of  the  Northern  Colonies  (Kimball,  vol.  i.  p.  136  from  C.O.  5/212). 

a  Kimball,  vol.  i.  p.  143  from  C.O.  5/212.  *  Kimball,  vol.  i.  p.  143  from  C.O.  5/212. 

4  Orders  were  given  to  rendezvous  at  Halifax,  not  later  than  April  12. 

8  600  Rangers  were  to  be  sent,  but  the  number  of  Regulars  was  not  to  fall  below  that  planned,  Dec.  30,  1757. 

8   His  Instructions  arc  in  Ad.  O.  and  I.,  vol.  80. 



note  his  appearance  so  close  to  the  town  that  his  force  could  be  counted  was 
on  April  28,  although  early  in  the  month  his  ships  had  been  sighted  off  Scatari. 
The  safe  arrival  of  French  ships,  hereafter  stated,  shows  that  his  blockade,  like 
most,  was  not  effective.  He  sent  into  Halifax,  however,  as  captures  the 
Diane,  22,  a  frigate  "full  of  Provisions,  Cloathing  and  Arms,"  and  four  other 
provision  ships. 

Boscawen's  voyage  was  extremely  slow.  He  was  clear  of  the  Channel 
on  February  24,  but  did  not  arrive  in  Halifax  until  May  I2.1 

The  forces  had  not  all  arrived,  and  Amherst  was  still  at  sea.  Boscawen 
and  Whitmore  had  received  instructions  for  preliminary  steps  to  be  taken  in 
the  event  of  such  delay  as  had  occurred.  They  were  to  land  on  Cape  Breton, 
either  at  Gabarus  Bay  or  at  Mira.2  But  before  this  could  be  attempted, 
preparations  were  complete.  The  fleet  and  forces  straggled  into  Halifax  a 
month  behind  Pitt's  appointed  time. 

The  account  of  an  eye-witness,3  who  regretted  not  to  have  been  appointed 
to  serve  on  the  expedition,  gives  a  livelier  account  of  these  days  in  Halifax 
than  a  transcript  of  diverse  official  documents. 

May  30/A,  1758. 

"MY  DEAR  LORD  —  ...  In  my  letter  to  your  Lordship  from  Boston  dated  in  March 
I  informed  you  of  what  was  at  that  time  transacting  on  this  Continent  and  of  my  motives 
for  proceeding  to  Halifax,  and  I  cannot  say  that  I  repent  of  the  Voyage  I  made  ;  I  must  own 
I  was  a  good  deal  mortified  that  my  situation  obliged  me  to  quit  a  service  I  was  so  deeply 
interested  in,  and  in  which  some  intimate  friends  of  mine  have  so  great  a  share  ;  both  my 
gratitude  to  General  Abercromby  in  appointing  me  his  Aid  de  Camp,  and  obedience  to  your 
Lordship's  intentions,  that  I  should  serve  with  him,  soon  determined  what  part  to  take. 

"  April  iyd.  —  I  imbarked  with  General  Lawrence,  his  Battalion  and  Frazers  at  Boston. 

"28^.  —  We  arrived  at  Halifax  where  we  found  that  from  the  I5th  to  that  day  the 
Prince  Frederick  and  Juno,  Transports  with  Amherst's  Regiments  on  board,  and  some 
Ordinance  Store  Ships,  had  arrived  from  England.  The  Prince  Frederick  had  lost  her  masts 
in  a  gale  of  Wind,  and  had  replaced  them  from  the  Le  Arc  en  Ceil  [sic]  of  50  Guns  —  which 
lay  at  Halifax.  One  transport  had  sprung  a  leak  at  Sea,  was  lost,  but  the  Troops  saved. 
We  found  the  Royal  4Oth,  45th  and  47th  Regiments  that  wintered  at  Halifax,  employed  in 
making  Fascines  and  Gabiens,  etc.,  and  90  Carpenters  that  had  been  sent  from  New  England 
employed  under  the  direction  of  Colonel  Basteed,  in  making  six  Block  Houses  of  Squared 
Timber,  upon  the  upper  part  of  which  a  Platform  is  made  for  small  Cannon,  with  a  Parapet 

1  Wolfe  gives,  in  a  letter  to  Lord  George  Sackville,  an  account  of  the  voyage  (Ninth  Report,  Hist.  MSS.  Com. 

P-  74)- 

2  C.O.  5/213.     In  the  preparation  of  these  instructions  to  his  commanders,  Pitt  had  before  him  a  communication 
from  Brigadier  Waldo,  second  in  command  to  Pepperrell  in  the  siege  of  1745.     Waldo  recommended  the  attack,  actually 
carried  out  by  Amherst.     The  document  is  to  be  found  in  R.O.  Secret  and  Miscellaneous  Papers,  1756-61,  and  has  been 
reprinted  in  Can.  Archives  Reports,  1886. 

3  James  Cunningham  on  Abercromby's  staff,  letter  to  Lord  Sackville. 

238  EVENTS  AT  HALIFAX  1758 

Musquct  proof,  and  underneath  Musquetry  may  likewise  be  used  through  loop  holes.  The 
Timbers  are  marked,  and  the  edifice  may  be  constructed  in  a  few  hours.  They  will  answer 
the  end  Ridouts  for  the  protection  of  the  Camp.  They  were  likewise  employed  in  making 
a  sort  of  Sling  Cart,  with  wheels  Eight  Feet  high,  of  a  great  breadth  to  transport  Cannon 
over  Marshy  Ground,  this  at  Mr.  Boscawen's  request.  The  Troops  remained  on  board  the 
Transports  and  were  extremely  healthy. 

"At  this  time  General  Hopson  was  Ignorant  of  his  destination,  and  Continued  to 
command.  It  was  determined  to  send  to  Boston  for  fifty  Horses  and  fourty  Yoke  of  Oxen 
to  adjust  [sic]  in  drawing  Artillery  Horses,  etc.,  at  the  Siege. 

"  March  igth. — Sir  Charles  Hardy  arrived  in  the  Captain  from  England,  and  found  the 
Squadron  that  had  Wintered  at  Halifax  in  great  forwardness. 

"  April  5//;. — Sir  Charles  sailed  to  cruize  off  Louisburg  with  the  following  ships. 
Northumberland  74  Summerset  "O  Terrible  74/  Orford  JO/  Deffence  6o/  Captain  6^./  Kingston 
6o/  Southerland  5O/  and  one  Frigate.  Sir  Charles  sent  into  Halifax  Four  Provision  Ships 
taken  off  Louisburg. 

"  30//;. — He  sent  in  a  French  Frigate  of  22  guns,  called  the  Diana.  She  sailed  from 
Rochfort  in  Company  with  the  Prudent  of  70  Guns  and  another  Frigate  that  are  supposed 
to  have  got  into  Louisburg. 

"  May  2nd. — She  was  full  of  Provisions,  Cloathing  and  Arms. 

"  The  Juno  Frigate  sailed  to  join  Sir  Charles  Squadron,  and  the  same  day  the  Trent 
Frigate  that  had  been  separated  ten  days  from  Mr.  Boscawen's  Fleet  off  the  Island  of 
Barmudas,  arrived. 

"8M. — A  Fleet  was  seen  to  the  Eastward  of  the  Harbour. 

"  9//J. — Admiral  Boscawen  arrived  with  the  following  Ships.  Namur  go/  Princess  Emelia 
8o/  Royal  IVilllam  84/  Burford  jo/  Pembroke  6o/  Lancaster  68/  Prince  of  Orange  6o/  Bedford 
&4/  Nottingham  6o/  Shannon  Frigate,  Etna  and  Tylo  Fire  Ships. 

"  The  same  day  arrived  the  35th/  48th/  and  Monckton's  Battn.  of  R.  As/  under  Convoy 
of  a  20  Gun  Ship  from  Philadelphia. 

"  The  whole  Fleet  immediately  on  their  arrival  begun  to  take  in  Water  and  clean — the 
ships  all  healthy,  except  the  Pembroke  and  Devonshire. 

"  12th. — Arrived  Captain  Rouse  in  the  Sutherland  of  50  Guns  from  the  Squadron  off 
Louisburg.  Sir  Charles  says  in  a  letter  of  the  8th  of  May,  that  after  a  Storm  of  Snow  which 
Continued  thirty-six  hours,  upon  its  clearing  up,  he  perceived  several  Ships  within  him,  near 
to  the  Harbour,  to  which  he  gave  chase,  but  they  escaped  him.  Soon  after  he  stood  into 
the  Harbour,  and  perceived  Seven  Ships  at  Anchore,  three  of  which  he  imagined  were  of 
war.  In  Chaberouse  Bay  they  perceived  the  enemy  throwing  up  an  Intrenchment. 

"  I3//J. — Sailed  the  Beaver  to  Piscatua  for  Masts.  Sir  Charles's  Squadron  seems  to  have 
Cruized  off  Louisburg  as  Early  as  the  Season  would  permit.  The  cold  was  extremely  severe, 
and  the  Ice  floating  very  troublesome.  They  saw  a  French  ship  catched  in  it,  which  they 
could  not  reach,  &:  some  of  his  Squadron  at  times  stuck  fast.1 

"  i^th. — Sailed  the  Squirrell  and  on  the  I4th  the  Scarborough  to  join  the  Fleet. 

"  ibth. — Arrived  Commodore  Durrell  from  New  York,  with  the  Devonshire  of  66  Guns, 
the  Ludlow  Castle  of  40,  and  three  Frigates,  with  Brigadier  General  Whitmore  the  I7th/ 
and  22nd/  Regiments,  all  the  Artillery  and  Stores  intended  for  the  Siege  of  Louisburg  last 

1   The  Magnifijut  j   see  p.  244. 

1758  EVENTS  AT  HALIFAX  239 

year,  except  some  Howitzers  kept  by  General  Abercromby  Three  Companys  of  Artillery, 
Thirty-two  empty  Transports  and  Victuallers.  Those  empty  Transports  were  provided  at 
home  for  the  Troops  to  be  imbarked  at  New  York,  but  General  Abercromby  that  no  time 
might  be  lost  had  imbarked  his  Troops  from  different  places  ordering  them  to  proceed  to 
the  place  of  Randesvouse  in  Separate  divisions.  And  when  your  Lordship  considers,  that 
the  orders  for  this  Imbarkation  did  not  reach  General  Abercromby  before  the  nth  March, 
Great  dispatch  must  have  been  used,  to  mark  [sic']  the  Troops  from  these  Cantonments  about 
Albany  and  elsewhere,  to  have  them  imbarked,  and  the  last  of  them  at  the  place  of  randes- 
vouse  by  the  i6th  of  May.  All  the  Transports  from  the  Continent  are  Victualled  for  four 
months.  They  will  find  full  employment  for  the  empty  Transports  to  carry  Fascines,  etc. 

"  ijth. — Arrived  the  Centurion  of  60  Guns  from  Plymouth,  and  informed  us  that  General 
Amherst  was  to  Imbark  in  the  Dublin  which  was  to  replace  the  Invincibly  want  of  canvass 
prevented  the  Centurion  from  proceeding  with  Admiral  Boscawen  from  Plymouth.  The 
same  day  arrived  the  York  Man-of-War  of  64  Guns,  and  Anstruther's  Regiment  which  are 
sickly.  The  York  in  her  passage  ran  foul  of  the  America^  lost  her  head,  and  carried  away 
the  Masts  of  the  America. 

"  2Oth. — Royal  William  and  Prince  Frederick  sailed  to  join  Sir  Charles  Hardy's  Squadron. 
The  same  day  the  Massachusetts  Province  Ship,  20  Guns,  brought  in  three  Prizes,  two  of 
which  were  bound  to  Louisburg  with  provisions. 

"  2ist. — Brigadier  Lawrence  received  a  letter  from  Admiral  Boscawen,  acquainting  him 
that  he  should  be  ready  to  sail  on  the  23rd  May,  no  objection  occurring  it  was  determined, 
but  calm  thick  weather  and  Contrary  winds  prevented  them. 

"  A  Body  of  Rangers  were  formed  consisting  of  1 100  from  Detachments  of  the  several 
Corps  and  500  were  sent  from  New  England,  all  under  the  Command  of  Captain  Scott  of 
the  yoth  Regiment,  who  has  been  accustomed  to  that  service.  Their  Clothes  are  cut 
short,  &  they  have  exchanged  their  heavy  Arms,  for  the  light  fusils  of  the  Additional 
Companies  of  Erasers  that  are  left  at  Halifax.  This  body  of  Troops  will  be  of  excellent 
service  in  protecting  There  Camp  from  the  Insults  of  the  Indians.  The  Company  of 
Carpenters  consisting  of  90  men  will  be  extremely  useful  as  they  have  been  accustomed  to 
the  drawing  of  Masts. 

"  During  the  recess  there  stay  at  Halifax  afforded  them,  the  Generals  did  not  fail  to 
accustom  the  Troops  to  what  they  were  soon  to  encounter.  Some  Military  operations 
were  dayly  carried  on.  They  frequently  landed  in  the  boats  of  the  Transports  and  practised 
in  the  Woods,  the  different  Manuvres  they  were  likely  to  act  on  the  Island  of  Cape 
Breton.  In  all  these  operations  you  may  imagine  that  Gen.  Wolfe  was  remarkably  active. 
The  Scene  afforded  Scope  for  his  Military  Genius.  We  found  it  possible  to  land  3500 
Men  in  the  Boats  belonging  to  Transports,  and  when  the  Boats  from  the  Men  of  War 
assisted,  5000  Men  could  be  landed. 

"  To  facilitate  the  landing  at  Chaberus  Bay  the  following  Scheme  was  that  they  seemed 
inclined  to  put  in  execution,  and  which  the  following  scetch  of  the  Coast  will  explain.  It 
was  proposed  to  detach  Brigadier-Genl.  Wolfe  with  the  ifth/  48th/  Eraser's  Battn.  of 
Highlanders  &  noo  Rangers,  to  perfect  a  landing  at  Miray  Bay,  15  miles  from  Chaberus 
Bay,  and  to  force  his  march  thro'  the  Woods  along  the  road,  against  whatever  might 
oppose  him,  making  short  marches  in  case  of  opposition,  &  securing  his  Camp  every  night 
in  the  best  manner. 

24o  EVENTS  AT  HALIFAX  1758 

"  Colonel  Monckton  to  be  detached,  to  perfect  a  landing  with  two  Battalions  at  Grand 
Lorcm  Beck,  and  to  secure  his  small  force  with  an  Intrenchment. 

"  The  rest  of  the  force  under  cover  of  the  Cannon  of  the  Ships,  to  land  at  Chaberus 
Bay,  but  I  suppose  they  will  delay  making  that  attempt,  should  any  formidable  force 
oppose  them,  untill  the  other  two  Bodys  of  Troops  can  co-operate,  in  making  a  diversion 
in  their  favour. 

"  Your  Lordship  doubtless  knows  that  General  Whitmore  was  directed  from  Home  to 
Command  in  Nova  Scotia,  &  to  detach  General  Lawrence,  in  case  General  Amherst  did 
not  arrive  in  time,  to  proceed  in  the  operations  of  the  Siege. 

"  28M. — The  wind  coming  fair  in  the  night,  the  Admiral  made  the  Signal  to 
unmore  at  daylight,  at  seven  she  weighed,  and  the  whole  Fleet  were  under  Sail  at  Eight 
O'clock,  little  Wind,  including  the  whole  they  amounted  to  180  Sail.  The  Pembroke 
having:  200  Men  sick,  the  Devonshire  sickly.  The  U  Arc  en  Cell  whose  Masts  were  taken 
to  refit  the  Prince  Frederick  were  left  at  Halifax  with  orders  to  join  the  Fleet  when  in 
a  proper  condition,  from  hence  you  will  find  that  Mr.  Boscawen  sailed  from  Halifax  with 
Twenty-one  Sail  of  the  line,  &  fourteen  Frigates.  I  mean  when  he  joins  Sir  Charles,  his 
Fleet  will  amount  to  that  number.  He  was  fortunate  in  meeting  with  a  fair  Wind,  & 
clear  Weather  for  three  Days  together,  which  must  have  afforded  them  an  opportunity  of 
surveying  the  Coast,  &  making  their  disposition. 

"  The  inclosed  return  will  show  you  the  effective  strength  of  the  Troops  on  the 
expedition,  &  those  left  at  Nova  Scotia,  &  I  dare  say  that  you  must  approve  of  General 
Abercromby's  doing  everything  in  his  power,  to  forward  the  service,  in  many  things  at 
the  expence  of  that  he  is  himself  to  Conduct. 

"  It  is  impossible  for  me  to  express  to  your  Lordship,  the  harmony,  Spirit,  and 
confidence,  that  reigns  universally  thro'  the  Army  and  Navy.  I  parted  with  my  friends 
General  Lawrence,  Gen.  Wolfe  and  the  Admiral  on  board  the  Namur  when  they  were 
under  Sail,  and  I  cannot  say  but  that  I  earnestly  wished  that  I  had  been  destined  for  that 
service.  I  imbarked  on  board  the  Ludlow  Castle  of  40  Guns  with  General  Hopson, 
we  cleared  the  Harbour  before  the  Fleet.  We  met  the  Dublin,  and  saw  her  join  the 
Fleet.  I  suppose  that  General  Amherst  was  on  board.  I  esteem  myself  unfortunate  in 
not  meeting  him  before  my  departure,  as  he  possibly  might  have  dispatches  for  General 

"  As  the  Enemy  will  certainly  exert  the  whole  Regular  Canadian  and  Indian  Force  of 
Canada  against  General  Abercromby  so  soon  as  they  are  at  a  certainty  of  our  design 
against  Louisburg,  I  cannot  persuade  myself  that  he  will  be  able  to  act  offensively  against 
the  enemy  unless  a  diversion  is  immediately  made  up  the  River  St.  Lawrence,  which  may 
oblige  the  Enemy  to  divide  their  force.  I  had  several  opportunities  of  urging  this  point 
to  Admiral  Boscawen,  and  he  desired  me  to  inform  General  Abercromby  that  he  proposed 
sending  some  Men  of  War  and  Troops  up  the  River  St.  Lawrence  to  make  a  diversion  the 
moment  that  he  was  persuaded  that  he  could  spare  them.  We  all  have  the  utmost 
confidence  in  Admiral  Boscawen's  zeal  and  activity  in  the  service  and  when  we  heard  that 
he  was  to  command  the  Fleet  we  assured  ourselves  that  the  Campaign  would  be  vigorous 
&  Active.  The  unanimity  that  presides  at  Home  seems  to  defuse  itself  abroad,  whereas  of 
late  we  have  been  a  divided  and  distrustful  people.  A  successful  Campaign  will  I  hope 
give  Peace  to  America.  Without  it  I  fear  the  Country  will  be  exhausted  and  provisions 


for  the  supply  of  a  large  Army  must  grow  scarce  from  so  many  hands  being  employed  in 
the  Field. 

"Capt.  Boyer  who  lately  got  a  ^10,000  Ticket  has  promised  me  to  deliver  this  letter 
to  your  Lordship,  he  is  a  particular  friend  of  mine. — I  am,  my  dear  Lord,  Your  faithful 
servant,  JAS.  CuNiNGHAME."1 

Wolfe,  who  landed  at  Halifax  from  the  Princess  Amelia  on  May  8, 
was  eager  and  dissatisfied.  He  thought  the  troops  were  too  few,  as  deaths, 
wounds,  sickness,  and  a  necessary  garrison  would  take  up  three  thousand  men, 
and  suggested  reinforcements.  He  spoke  well  of  the  Highland  regiments, 
both  officers  and  men,  then  beginning  their  glorious  service  in  the  British 
Army.  "  The  Highlanders  are  very  useful  serviceable  soldiers,  and  commanded 
by  the  most  manly  corps  of  officers  I  ever  saw.2  The  Rangers  he  described  as 
"  little  better  than  la  canaille.'"  3 

He  had  a  poor  opinion  of  the  Americans  as  soldiers. 

"The  Americans  are  in  general  the  dirtiest,  most  contemptible  cowardly  dogs  that  you 
can  conceive.  There  is  no  depending  upon  'em  in  action.  They  fall  down  dead  in  their 
own  dirt  and  desert  by  battalions,  officers  and  all.  Such  rascals  as  those  are  rather  an 
incumbrance  than  any  real  strength  to  an  army."  4 

But  these  strictures  were  but  little  more  severe  than  those  he  wrote  about 
the  regulars,  who,  like  the  Rangers,  as  the  event  proved,  so  willingly  and 
successfully  followed  his  leadership.  Of  their  spirit  he  had  no  doubt,  but 
otherwise  they  fell  far  below  his  standard.  "  Too  much  money  and  too  much 
rum  necessarily  affect  the  discipline  of  an  army."  "  I  believe  no  nation  ever 
paid  so  many  bad  soldiers  at  so  high  a  rate." 

The  siege  supplies  were  inadequate  in  important  respects  ;  the  muskets  were 
in  poor  condition. 

"We  ought  to  have  had  a  dozen  of  the  largest  sort  (Howitzers)  for  this  business.  I 
am  told  too,  that  his  Excellency  had  a  great  mind  to  keep  the  tools,  in  which  case  there 
was  an  end  of  the  siege  of  Louisbourg  altogether,  and  I  believe  it  will  now  be  found  that 
we  have  not  one  pick  axe  too  many. 

"Our  Cloaths,  our  arms  and  accoutrements,  nay  even  our  shoes  and  stockings,  are  all 
improper  for  this  country.  .  .  .  The  army  is  undone  and  ruin'd  by  the  constant  use  of 
salt  meat  and  rum  ...  so  your  lordship  may  rest  assured  that  the  enterprize  of  Louisbourg 
will  cost  a  multitude  of  men."  5 

Although  Wolfe  was  dissatisfied  with  the  forces  gathered  at  Halifax,  Pitt 
had  nevertheless  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  commanders  a  powerful  armament. 

1  I  owe  the  full  text  of  this  letter  and  the  map,  not  reproduced,  to  the  kindness  of  Colonel  Stopford  Sackville  of 
Drayton  House.     A  few  lines  of  it  are  quoted  in  Ninth  Report  Hist.  MSS.  Com.  p.  75. 

2  Ninth  Report  Hist.  MSS.  Com,  p.  74.  *  Ibid.  4  Ibid.  p.  77. 

5  The  above  quotations  are  all  from  Wolfe's  letters  to  Lord  Sackville  (Ninth  Report  Hist.  MSS.  Com.  pp.  74  to  77). 



On  the  naval  side  it  was  made  up  of  23  men-of-war  and    16  smaller  vessels, 
mounting  1842  guns,  and  carrying  crews  of  14,005  men. 

The  land  forces  consisted  of  13,142  men  and  officers.  Lord  Ligonier  had 
responded  to  the  call  of  Pitt,  in  a  lavish  supply  of  munitions  of  war. 

Detailed  statements  of  the  forces  and  supplies  are  printed  later,  in  which 
will  also  be  found  the  quantities  used,  which  show  that  Wolfe's  fears  were 
groundless  ;  as  well  as  for  purposes  of  comparison,  the  resources  in  men  and 
ships  of  the  French. 

On  Monday,  May  29,  the  advance  was  begun.1  At  dawn  the  signal  to 
unmoor  was  given  from  the  Namur.  At  nine  the  fleet  was  under  way,  and 
saluted  with  seventeen  guns  by  the  little  citadel,  was  passing  out  of  the  harbour. 
The  breeze  was  so  light  at  10.30  that  the  ships'  boats  towed  them  out,  and  by 
the  afternoon  they  were  still  off  Cape  Sambro.  Even  at  the  last  it  was  augmented. 
The  vessels  carrying  Bragg's,  and  some  detachments  from  the  Bay  of  Fundy 
and  the  new  settlement  of  Lunenburg,  joined  the  fleet  and  continued  with  it. 
The  Dublin  came  in  from  sea,  transferred  Amherst  to  the  Namur,  and  went  on 
into  the  harbour,  as  her  crew  was  sickly.2 

With  varying  but  not  unfavourable  weather,  the  fleet  tacked  along  the 
coast  of  Nova  Scotia  and  Cape  Breton.  When  the  weather  cleared,  on  Friday, 
June  2,  Boscawen  saw  Louisbourg,  and  with  light  airs  came  slowly  to  his  chosen 
anchorage  in  Gabarus  Bay,  which  he  reached  about  four  that  afternoon.  He 
was  followed  that  evening  and  the  next  day  by  the  rest  of  the  fleet.  As  they 
passed  in,  Amherst  and  his  men  saw  rise  above  the  circumvallation  the  slender 
spires  of  the  principal  buildings,  and  beyond  them  the  slenderer  masts  of  the 
ships  in  the  harbour. 

The  position  taken  by  Boscawen  was  dangerous.  His  principal  ships  were 
anchored  about  the  middle  of  Gabarus  Bay,  six  miles  from  the  entrance  of 
Louisbourg  harbour,  and  little  over  two  from  the  shallow  water  at  the  head  of 
the  bay.3  As  happens  yearly  at  this  season,  there  was  much  fog,  and  the 
prevailing  winds  were  easterly,  so  that  ships  leaving  the  harbour  could  have  run 
down  on  the  anchored  enemy  crowded  in  a  bay  with  a  lee  shore  close  aboard. 
On  Sunday,  Boscawen's  account  of  conditions  is  as  follows  : 

"At  4  A.M.  it  was  little  wind  with  a  thick  haze,  the  Kennington  and  Halifax  still 
continue  firing.  At  5  the  breeze  began  to  freshen  and  it  came  on  foggy.  ...  At  8  the 
gale  increased,  got  down  topgallant  yards  and  the  Sheat  Anchor  over  the  side,  and  at  noon 

1  The  time  in  naval  records  of  the  period  wa»  from  noon  to  noon.  Thus  Boscawen  say»  ''at  4.30  A.M.,  Sunday, 
May  28,"  where  Gordon  says  "  Monday,  May  29."  May  28  is,  in  the  former  case,  from  Sunday  at  noon  to  noon  on  the 
Monday,  29th.  The  dates  in  the  text  follow  the  reckoning  of  landsmen. 

a  The  Gramnint  was  dispatched  to  reconnoitre  G.ibarus  Bay,  and  discover  the  best  landing-place  ;  the  Kenningta* 
and  a  transport  arrived  from  sea.  The  number  of  transports  reported  by  Boscawen  is  127. 

1  Their  position  is  indicated  on  the  map,  p.  243,  from  data  furnished  by  the  chief  Hydrographer  of  the  Navy. 

List  of  Ships 

(l.)  Namur 

(2.)  Princess  Amelia 

(3.)  Burford 

(4.)  Bedford 

(5-)  Lancaster 

(6.)  Princess  Frederick 
(7.)  Prince  of  Orange 
(8.)  York 
(9.)  Nottingham 
(10.)  Sutherland 


English  Statute  Miles 
? ? 3 

Scale  of  Latitude  and  Distance 
9 I 2 

Position  of 

JUNE  5th.-7tfa.  1758. 










To  face  page  242. 


struck  yards  and  topmasts."     Although  the  weather  fell  lighter  in  the  afternoon,  it  was  not 
until  5  the  next  morning  that  they  "  got  up  topmasts  and  Yards." 

The  Kennington  and  other  frigates,  with  the  sloop  Halifax,  ranged  on 
shore  close  to  the  French  batteries  with  which  they  were  engaged,  had  to  be 
towed  by  the  ship's  boats  into  deeper  water.  The  Trent  took  the  ground,  but 
was  got  off  with  a  damaged  rudder.  "  It  looked,"  says  Gordon,  "  as  if  many 
vessels  would  go  ashore  and  many  suffered  the  loss  of  anchor  and  cables." 

It  would  appear  that  the  disposition  of  the  British  fleet  was  the  least 
favourable  for  defence.  Its  first  line,  the  frigates,  were  dragging  ashore  under 
the  fire  of  the  batteries,  while  the  battleships,  to  leeward  of  the  transports,  were 
dismantled,  and  incapable  of  speedily  protecting  these  ships  on  which  were  the 
troops  and  warlike  stores.  The  conditions  were  most  favourable  for  attack. 
Fog  at  times  hung  over  all  to  obscure  movements  of  the  French,  who  had  a 
wind  favouring  them,  strong  enough  to  produce  disorder  among  the  British, 
but,  as  it  was  not  so  heavy  as  to  prevent  the  working  of  the  fleet's  boats,  it  was 
favourable  .to  the  manoeuvring  of  the  French  ships.  The  easterly  winds  were 
against  any  assistance  coming  from  Hardy  and  his  ships.  Everything  was 
prepared  for  a  disaster,  which  would  have  stood  out  in  naval  annals  with 
Quiberon  and  La  Hogue,  had  the  French  grasped  the  overwhelming  value,  at 
critical  moments,  of  an  aggressive  defence.1 

The  French  defence,  instead  of  being  greater  than  that  of  1757,  in  face  of 
the  greater  forces  arrayed  against  Louisbourg,  was  weaker.  The  supply  of 
money  in  the  treasury  of  France  was  low,  and  was  engaged  for  the  land  war  in 
Germany.  The  British  captures  of  her  men-of-war  and  her  merchantmen  had 
diminished  the  number  of  seamen.  The  appalling  mortality  of  the  autumn  and 
winter,  through  plague  brought  back  to  Brest  by  Du  Bois  de  la  Motte's  fleet,  had 
further  reduced  the  forces  available  for  manning  the  ships.2  Insubordination 
and  desertion,  the  results  of  ill-treatment,  lowered  the  quality  of  those  who 
embarked.  So  few  were  the  men,  that  La  Clue  was  nearly  a  year  recruiting  for 
the  six  ships  under  his  command.3  So  bad  was  their  quality  that  Le  Chevalier 
de  Mirabeau  refused  command  of  a  squadron,  giving  his  reasons  to  the  Minister 
in  these  outspoken  words  : 

"  My  life,  Sir,  and  not  my  honour,  belongs  to  the  King.  They  have  broken  pledges  to 
the  sailors  in  an  unheard  of  manner.  Not  paying  these  wretches  is  a  cruelty,  palliated  here 
(Toulon)  by  necessity  without  doubt,  but  marked  by  incidents  which  make  one  shudder 
when  they  happen  before  one's  eyes.  .  .  .  Du  Quesnel's  men  failed  him  before  the  enemy} 
I  cannot,  nor  do  I  wish  to  expose  myself  to  the  same  hazard."  4 

1  This  condition  is  further  dealt  with  in  Chap.  XV. 
2  See  Chap.  XV.  3  La  Cour-Gayet,  p.  179.  *  La  Cour-Gayet,  p.  282. 

244       FAILURES  TO  STRENGTHEN  LOUISBOURG         1758 

With  such  crews  La  Clue  left  Toulon,  November  8,  to  repeat,  if  possible, 
the  voyage  to  St.  Domingo  and  Louisbourg  which  De  Beauffremont  had  so 
successfully  made  in  the  spring.  Admiral  Osborne  held  for  England  the  Straits 
of  Gibraltar,  and  forced  La  Clue  to  take  refuge  in  Carthagena,  where  he  was 
joined  in  January  by  some  ships  under  De  Motheux,  which  brought  his  strength  up 
to  thirteen  vessels.  Preparations  to  strengthen  Louisbourg,  notwithstanding  this 
delay,  were  continued  by  the  French.  Du  Quesnel,  lately  Governor-General  of 
Canada,  by  drawing  on  men  recently  returned  from  a  cruise,  was  able  to  sail  from 
Toulon  in  command  of  the  Foudroyant,  80,  one  of  the  finest  ships  of  the  French 
Navy,  and  peculiarly  endeared  to  that  service  as  she  had  been  La  Galissoniere's 
flagship  at  Minorca.  She  was  accompanied  by  the  Orphte,  64,  and  two  smaller 
vessels.  In  sight  of  La  Clue,  Du  Quesnel  engaged  the  English  ships  off 
Carthagena  on  the  28th  of  February.  The  Qrphte  fell  at  once,  and  after  a 
combat  carried  on  by  the  Monmouth,  70,  with  unabated  (pertinacity,  after  the 
death  of  her  captain,  Du  Quesnel  struck  to  the  smaller  ship.1  La  Clue  had  to 
return  to  Toulon,  for  the  superior  forces  of  the  British,  with  Gibraltar  as  its 
base,  blocked  the  passage  to  the  Atlantic. 

The  strengthening  of  Louisbourg  from  the  Mediterranean  being  thus 
rendered  impossible,  efforts  were  made  elsewhere,  and  the  intendants  of  the  naval 
dep6ts  on  the  Atlantic  were  ordered  to  hasten  the  dispatch  of  ships  for  Isle 
Royale.  The  Magnifique  left  Brest  early  in  March,  and  arrived  in  the  drift  ice 
off  Louisbourg  on  the  Jist  of  that  month.  She  hung  there  with  appalling 
sufferings  of  her  crew.  One  hundred  and  twenty  of  her  men  died,  twelve  from 
cold  in  one  night.  On  another,  the  ship  was  unworkable  from  a  "  silver  thaw." 
Villeon,  her  commander,  abandoned  the  voyage,  and  with  only  thirty  men, 
including  officers,  fit  for  duty,  arrived  back  on  May  5,  at  Corunna.2  Another 
vessel  never  got  away  from  the  French  coast  .  the  Raisonable,  64,  commanded  by 
the  Prince  de  Montbazon,  was  overpowered  and  captured  just  after  leaving  Brest 
for  Louisbourg.3  The  Prudent,  64,  commanded  by  the  Marquis  des  Gouttes,4 
arrived  at  Louisbourg  on  March  24,  and  on  the  28th  Beaussier  brought  into  port 
his  squadron  consisting  of  : 

U Entreprenant,  74  (Beaussier).  Le  Caprideux,  64  (De  Tourville). 

Le  Bitnfaisant,  64  (Courserac).  Le  Ctlebre^  64  (De  Marolle). 

La  Comhe,  74  (Lorgeril). 

The  two  first  named  were  fully  armed  ;  the  other  three  were  en  flute,  that 
is,  serving  as  freighters  and  transports.  They  brought  provisions,  and  a  battalion 
of  Volontaires  Etrangers  under  D'Anthonay.5  The  supplies  brought  by  these 

1   Corbctt  givci  a  brief  and  picturesque  account  of  this  action  and  its  significance  to  the  two  services,  vol.  i.  259. 
1   Marine,  B«,  80.  3   La  Cour-Gayet,  p.  311.  *  See  Appendix.  »  See  Appendix. 


vessels  and  others 1  placed  Drucour  in  a  position  to  carry  on  his  defence  without 
further  anxiety  about  munitions  or  supplies.2 

The  Court  was  anxious  to  supplement  Drucour  by  officers  of  experience  in 
warfare.  Blenac  de  Courbon  3  was  transferred  from  his  position  as  Commandant 
at  Brest  to  Louisbourg  with  the  grade  of  Commander  of  its  sea  and  land  forces.4 
He  set  sail  on  the  Formidable  on  May  n,  found  Louisbourg  blocked,  and 
returned  to  Brest  on  June  27. 5  His  appointment  was  made  on  April  10,  so 
that  there  was  no  haste  displayed  in  his  setting  out,  while  his  report  to  the 
Minister,  that  he  was  "  exceedingly  happy  to  bring  back  to  a  good  port  the  ship 
which  had  been  entrusted  to  me,"  6  would  indicate  a  lack  of  energy  which  made 
his  absence  no  great  loss  to  the  defence.  On  March  30,  De  la  Houliere  was 
appointed  to  command  the  land  forces,  and  arrived  in  Louisbourg  by  the  Bizarre 
on  the  3<Dth  of  May.  The  troops  were  assembled  and  his  position  proclaimed  on 
June  i.7  On  the  same  day  there  came  to  the  town  an  officer  of  the  Dragon, 
and  the  adjutant  of  Cambis,  with  the  welcome  news  that  DuchafFault  had  arrived 
at  Port  Dauphin.  His  force  consisted  of  six  vessels ;  only  two  of  them  and  a 
frigate  had  then  arrived,  but  these  had  on  board  a  battalion  of  Cambis  as  a 
reinforcement  for  the  garrison.  An  officer  was  sent  with  instructions  for 
DuchafFault  to  land  this  regiment,  and  to  come  with  his  ships  to  Louisbourg 
as  soon  as  possible. 


The  sight  of  Boscawen's  fleet  was  no  surprise  to  Drucour  and  his  officers. 
Indians  had  come  with  the  news  that  they  had  seen  the  fleet  off  Fourchu.  His 
vigilance  was  fully  awake.  He  had,  as  early  as  the  28th  of  April,  manned  the 
entrenchments  along  the  shores  which  Du  Bois  de  la  Motte  had  planned  and 
erected  in  1757  against  Loudon's  threatened  attack.  In  consultation  with 
Franquet,  he  had  visited  the  shore  and  agreed  on  the  sites  at  Pointe  Blanche  and 
Pointe  Plate  for  cannon  (May  I  and  3),  and  forthwith  proceeded  to  prepare  for 
their  emplacement  (May  5),  while  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  harbour  he 
established  posts  of  100  men,  afterwards  increased  to  250,  drawn  in  part  from 
the  fleet,  at  L'Anse  a  Gautier,  the  most  practicable  landing  near  the  lighthouse, 
as  well  as  at  the  Lorembecs. 

The  garrisons  of  Port  Toulouse  and  Port  Dauphin  were  brought  in  on 
the  7th,  and  Drucour  for  the  first  time  this  spring  had  authentic  news,  but 

1  The  Apollo,  April  \$\Le  Che-vre,  April  24  ;  La  Fidele,  frigate,  May  10  ;  three  merchant  vessels  on  May  19-27  j  the 
frigates  Bizarre  and  Arethuse  on  May  30,  the  former  enjiute. 

2  He  says  that  Louisbourg  was  fully  provisioned  for  a  year  for  the  first  time  since  1735  (Drucour's  Journal). 

3  See  Appendix.  4  I.R.  B,  107. 

5  Marine,  B4,  vol.  80.  6  Waddington,  Guerre  de  Sept  Ans,  vol.  ii.  p.  336. 

7  For  further  details  of  De  la  Houliere's  interesting  career  see  Appendix.     De  la  Houliere  had  seen  much  service,  had 
taken  part  in  nine  sieges,  and  had  been  since  1735  King's  Lieutenant  at  Salces,  near  Perpignan. 

246         FINAL  PREPARATIONS  OF  THE  FRENCH          1758 

not  later  than  early  April,  that  the  ships  which  had  wintered  in  Halifax  were 

Various  bands  of  Indians  and  Acadians  came  in,  and  the  younger  Villejouin 
brought  ninety  Acadians  from  L'Isle  St.  Jean,  who  were  sent  to  a  camp  at 
Gabarus  Bay.  In  expectation  of  harassing  the  besiegers  by  these  irregulars  and 
Indians,  two  depots  of  provisions  were  made  on  the  Mire.  A  battery  was  even 
erected  at  Port  Dauphin  and  abattis  and  other  siege  material  prepared.  The 
troops  in  the  entrenchments  were  relieved  weekly,  but,  before  the  month  had 
ended,  the  chapel  of  the  spacious  hospital  had  to  be  turned  into  a  ward,  to 
accommodate  the  men  who  had  fallen  ill  from  exposure  to  the  fog  and  rain.  A 
council  of  the  captains  of  the  ships  of  the  navy  was  held  on  the  1 5th  of  May,  to 
concert  measures  for  the  defence  of  the  port.  It  was  decided  to  prepare  fire- 
ships,  and  an  armed  chaloupe,  and  to  range  the  men-of-war  in  positions  most 
favourable  for  the  defence  of  the  port.  The  larger  ships  lay  in  their  new 
positions  in  a  crescent  between  the  Royal  Battery  and  the  Bastion  de  la  Grave. 

Those  of  the  men-of-war  which  had  arrived  en  fl&tc,  had  mounted  their 
guns,  but  were  otherwise  inactive.  An  English  frigate  more  than  once  came 
along  past  the  town  and  penetrated,  with  her  boats  out,  taking  soundings,  into 
the  very  bottom  of  Gabarus  Bay  ;  she  lay  at  anchor  another  night,  only  two 
cannon-shot  offPointe  Blanche;  and  although  in  the  former  case  no  supporting 
ships  were  within  four  or  five  leagues,  no  attempt  was  made  to  attack  her. 
Drucour  notes  with  admiration  the  daring  of  her  commander. 

A  few  words  will  describe  the  site  of  the  impending  conflict.  The  shores 
of  Gabarus  Bay  slope  upwards  from  beaches  and  rocky  points  to  a  considerable 
height,  which  is  reached  at  about  a  mile  distant  from  the  water.  This  tract, 
except  where  the  morass  or  moorland  extends  to  the  shore,  or  the  rocky  ledges 
rise  in  bare  shoulders,  is  covered  with  forest  or  scrub  growth.  The  farthest 
point  to  the  westward,  which  the  French  guarded  by  seventy  troops  under  the 
younger  Villejouin,  was  the  Montague  au  Diable,  from  which  a  footpath  led  to 
the  Mire  road,  giving  by  it  access  to  the  town.  About  4000  yards  nearer  was 
L'Anse  a  la  Coromandiere,  which  French  and  English  strategists  alike  had 
picked  out  as  a  vulnerable  point.  It  was,  therefore,  the  object  of  attack,  but 
also  the  place  where  were  made  the  most  elaborate  preparations  for  defence. 
The  distance  between  its  headlands  is  about  660  yards,  but  on  neither  of  these 
points  did  it  seem  possible  to  land.  Midway  on  the  arc  of  its  shore  is  a  rocky 
point,  and  on  either  side  of  it  a  beautiful  sandy  beach,  from  which  the  cliff  rises 
abruptly  about  15  or  20  feet  from  high  water.  Along  this  higher  land  the 
trenches  were  strengthened  by  an  abattis  of  trees  felled  with  their  tops  outward, 
thickly  strewn  along  the  beach  below.  So  thickly  were  they  planted  that  they 

1   Eleven  Indian!  brought  back  7  prisoners  and  16  scalps  in  a  schooner  they  had  captured. 

«       -C 

^T^          O 

O    | 


h  '5 

«3  » 

<  fe 

8  a 

1758         INCREASE  OF  THEIR  SHORE  BATTERIES          247 

appeared  as  a  natural  grove.  A  little  brook  runs  into  the  sea  close  to  the 
eastern  point  of  the  cove.  This  point  is  a  shoulder  of  land  high  enough  to 
hide  from  the  shores  of  the  cove  all  the  coast  and  sea  to  the  eastward.  This 
disadvantage  of  the  position  had  been  foreseen  in  the  defences  made  in  1757. 
A  nid  de  'pie  or  watch-tower  had  been  erected  on  or  near  this  ridge,  from  which 
could  be  seen  the  whole  range  of  the  shore  towards  the  town,  say  about  four 
miles  ;  and  during  the  time  in  1757  that  a  descent  by  the  English  was  possible 
had  been  occupied  by  a  detachment.1  It  was  now  left  unoccupied.  Pointe 
Platte  and  Pointe  Blanche  were  strongly  entrenched  and  guarded.  The  stretches 
of  coast  between  these  defences  was  most  difficult  to  land  on,  and,  by  the  more 
sanguine  of  the  defenders,  thought  inaccessible.  Tourville,  perhaps  the  most 
accurate  of  the  observers  of  events  in  Louisbourg,  however,  took  a  less  hopeful 
view.  He  walked  forth  one  day,  the  7th,  to  inspect  the  defences  at  these 
nearer  posts,  and  was  satisfied  with  them,  and  knew  Coromandiere  was  good  ; 
but,  while  the  coast  was  rock  strewn,  the  intervals  between  the  defences  were 
great,  and  he  believed  there  was  danger  of  an  unexpected  landing.2 

The  gale  of  Sunday  subsided,  and  Monday  was  a  day  of  calm  and  thick 
fog,  so  that  both  sides  were  ignorant  of  what  the  other  was  doing.  The  French 
heard  the  sounds  of  hammering  without  knowing  its  cause,  the  carpenters  of 
the  fleet  working  at  the  Trent's  rudder.  While  the  fog  continued  Wolfe 
reconnoitred  the  shore  to  see  if  a  landing  was  practicable.  Boscawen,  possibly 
not  to  have  to  depend  on  the  decision  of  a  marine  question  by  an  impetuous 
soldier,  sent  Commodore  Durell  on  the  same  mission,  but  there  was  no  difference 
of  opinion  between  the  sea  and  land  officers.  They  agreed  that  a  landing  could 
not  be  made. 

As  was  known  to  Amherst,  the  French  were  strengthening  their  defences. 
An  8 -inch  mortar  was  mounted  on  the  5th  on  a  small  hillock  between 
Pointe  Platte  and  the  Coromandiere,  and  fired  that  day  until  the  fog  came 
down.3  The  same  day  the  encouraging  news  came  in  that  eleven  companies  of 
Cambis  had  arrived  at  Mire,  and  that  De  Chaffault  had  worked  out  of  Port 
Dauphin  with  the  remaining  six  on  his  ships,  and  lay  under  Cibou  Islands,  at 
the  mouth  of  that  harbour,  in  the  most  advantageous  position,  to  sail  with  the 
first  fair  wind  for  Louisbourg.4 

Details  of  men  from  their  ships  in  the  harbour  were  engaged  in  hauling  a 
24-lb.  cannon  to  its  position  at  the  battery  of  the  Coromandiere,  an  arduous 
task,  delayed  by  the  nature  of  the  ground  and  the  breaking  of  its  carriage. 

Although  the  Bay  of  Gabarus  was  occupied  by  the  enemy,  in  whose  sight 

1  Johnstone  says  he  served  there.  2  "  Je  croy  qu'il  a  lieu  de  craindre  a  cet  igard  "  (Journal  of  the  Cafricieux). 

3  Lartigue,  in  a  note  on  his  map,  says  a  battery  should  have  been  placed  at  this  point,  but  Drucour's  account  is 
confirmed  by  the  Anon.  Jl.  4  Ten  arrived  in  Louisbourg  the  next  day,  the  other  on  the  7th. 


they  performed  the  feat,  two  boats'  crews  of  Basque  fishermen,  volunteers  for 
the  service,  carried  two  heavy  cannon  to  Pointe  Blanche  ;  where  they  were  at 
once  mounted.1 

The  disposition  of  the  regular  troops  in  the  field  was  finally  : 

Cannon.  Swivel*.  Mortari.  Men. 

At  Coromandiere  under  St.  Julhicn,    fiof24J  , 

Col.  of  Artois  \4  „  6/ 

Pte.  Platte.  Marin,  Col.  of  Hour-  {,5^6  ,  q^o 

gogne  \4  "  / 

Pte.  Blanche.  D'Anthonay,  Col.  fi  „  24 i 

ofV.E.  16  „  6/ 

Cape  Noir  .  .  .  .  2  „  24  75 

On  the  eastern  side  of  the  port  : 

The  Lighthouse 

Anses  a  Gautier  ^4  „    6j-  ...  350 

Grand  Lorembec 

And    detachments    of   50    soldiers 

each    at    La    Montagne     du 

Diable  and    Petit    Lorembec,    \     ...  ...  ...  100 

at  the    west  and  east    of  the 

fortified  entrenchments 


In  addition  there  were  the  militia,  Acadians,  and  Indians,  making  the  total 
force  over  3<DOO.2 

While  these  preparations  for  defence  were  being  carried  on  the  plans  of  the 
besiegers  were  modified  by  fresh  discoveries  of  local  conditions.  The  landing- 
force  was  to  be  divided  in  three  parts  :  Whitmore^Sj  the  white  division,^waTto 
form  the  right  wing  ;  Lawrence's,  the  blue,  the  left;  and  ^JVolFe  was  to  lead  a 
body  of  Highlanders,  Light  Infantry,  and  Irregulars.  Amherst's  general  orders 
of  the  3rd  indicate  that  his  purpose  was  to  attack  at  three  places,  at  White  and 
Flat  Points,  and  Wolfe's  force3  further  to  the  west.  A  heavy  surf  prevented 
an  attempt  being  made  that  day  ;  and  it  was,  moreover,  discovered  that  the 
water  off  White  Point  would  not  allow  the  frigates  to  approach  that  point  near 
enough  to  have  their  fire  cover  effectively  the  landing  troops  of  the  right 
division.  A  modification  of  the  first  plan  was  made  in  the  orders  of  the  4th. 

Amherst  determined  to  have  the  white  division,  Whitmore's,  distract  the 
enemy's  attention  at  White  Point,  and  then  to  follow  Lawrence's  division,  the 

1   Drucour's  Jl.  7th. 

3  There  is  no  great  discrepancy  between  this  list  and  the  number  of  guns  taken  as  given  by  Gordon,  p.  1 16. 
3  It  was,  after  a  landing,  to  join  that  of  Lawrence. 




blue,  which  was  to  land  on  the  shore  opposite  their  station,  Flat  Point,  or  to 
follow  the  Grenadiers.  The  reconnaissances  along  the  shore  had  obviously 
failed  to  give  Amherst  and  his  staff  any  adequate  idea  of  the  French  strength, 
for  these  orders  state  that : 

"The  General,  not  to  lose  a  moment  of  time,  has  thought  proper  to  order  that  an 
attack  be  made  upon  the  little  Intrenchments  within  the  Fresh  Water  Cove  with  four 
companies  of  Grenadiers.  That  no  Body,  regulars  or  irregulars,  may  dare  stand  before 
them.  These  detachments  are  to  be  commanded  by  Brigadier  General  Wolfe.  .  .  .  The 
Army  is  to  land  and  attack  the  French  in  three  different  Bodies  and  at  three  different 
places,  all  the  Grenadiers  and  detachments  of  the  right  Wing  land  upon  the  right  in  the 
bay  within  White  Point,  the  Light  Infantry,  Irregulars,  and  Highlanders  are  to  land  in 
the  Fresh  Water  Cove  in  order  to  take  the  Enemy  in  the  flank  and  rear,  and  cut  some 
of  them  off  from  the  Town.  The  Highlanders,  Light  Infantry,  and  Irregulars,  are  to 
Rendezvous  to  the  right  of  the  Island  lying  before  the  Fresh  Water  Cove  to  be  ready 
to  run  in  the  cove  when  the  Signal  is  given." 

It  seems  probable  that  Amherst's  Fresh-Water  Cove  was  at  the  outlet  of 
the  stream  which  falls  into  the  sea  near  Flat  Point.  Here  is  an  islet  only  about 
a  furlong  from  the  shore  to  the  right  of  which  might  advantageously  be  placed  the 
supports  of  the  four  companies  which  were  to  effect  the  landing.  From  this 
point  they  could  best  "  take  the  enemy  in  flank  and  rear,"  and  cut  some 
of  them  off  from  the  town.  If  Fresh- Water  Cove  was  the  same  place  as 
Coromandiere,  the  supports  of  the  four  companies  were  to  rendezvous  at  an 
islet  six  or  seven  times  as  far  from  the  shore  as  the  one  at  Flat  Point,  and  the 
position,  if  the  landing  were  effected,  the  least  favourable  for  cutting  the  enemy 
off  from  the  town.  The  operation  would  have  been  a  pursuit,  as  in  the 
event  it  was,  not  an  intersection  of  a  line  of  retreat.  Moreover,  if  Fresh- Water 
Cove  was  the  same  as  Coromandiere,  as  it  was  in  the  usage  of  the  navy,1  it 
would  be  absurd  to  assemble  the  force  for  an)  attack  on  it,  at  the  most  distant 
part  of  the  line,  "  the  right  of  the  right  attack."  But  if  there  be  doubt  as  to 
Amherst's  intentions  on  different  days,  it  is  clear  that  attempts  to  effect  a  landing 
were  being  made. 

On  the  6th,  a  day  which  opened  with  south-west  wind  and  fog,  Boscawen 
signalled  to  prepare  to  land,  in  an  interval  when  the  weather  showed  signs  of 
clearing.  The  boats  were  sent  to  the  ships,  and  by  eight  the  troops  were 
in  them,  under  the  immediate  supervision  of  Lawrence  and  Wolfe.  Boscawen 
and  Amherst  went  later  to  order  the  disembarkation,  but  it  fell  calm,  the  fog 
came  down  with  heavy  rains,  and,  following  a  rising  breeze,  "a  large  swell 
tumbled  in  from  the  sea."  The  men,  after  rowing  in  shore  and  finding  it 

1  Boscawen's  Jl.  speaks  of  Cormorant,  and  Captain  Jacobs  of  Fresh- Water  Cove,  referring  to  the  same  place  (Captains' 
Logs,  499). 

250  THE  EVE  OF  ATTACK  1758 

impossible  to  land,  were  recalled  and  ordered  back  to  the  ships,  Amherst  "  first 
acquainting  them  with  the  reason  for  so  doing."  With  the  knowledge  fresh  in 
his  mind  of  the  irritation  in  subordinate  officers,  and  the  rank  and  file,  over  the 
faint-hearted  attack  on  Rochefort,  the  previous  year,  Amherst  doubtless  did  not 
wish  to  damp  the  ardour  of  his  force  by  an  appearance  of  a  lack  of  enterprise. 

Wednesday,  the  yth,  the  weather  was  clear,  but  the  surf  was  still  high, 
though  operations  at  sea  could  be  carried  on,  and  Wrolfe  spent  the  early  morning 
in  sounding  at  the  head  of  the  bay.  Bragg's  regiment,  which  were  still  in  the 
small  vessels  in  which  they  had  come  from  the  Bay  of  Fundy,  were  detached, 
under  convoy  of  the  frigate  Juno,  to  make  a  feint  on  the  lighthouse  point  and 
L'Anse  a  Gautier.  This  had  little  effect,  for  the  French  recognized  it  as  being 
not  serious.  Hoping  that  the  next  day  would  bring  better  weather,  Boscawen 
gave  orders  to  the  captains  to  have  their  boats  at  the  transports  at  midnight, 
and  that  profound  silence  should  be  observed.  Amherst  again,  on  the  yth, 
issued  general  orders.  The  boats  of  the  right  were  to  assemble  at  the  transport 
I'iolet)  to  which  they  were  to  be  guided  by  three  lights  hung  on  the  seaward  side 
at  the  water's  edge.  The  left  wing,  under  Lawrence,  assembled  at  the  St.  George, 
which  hung  out  two  lights  ;  and  Wolfe  with  the  Grenadier  Companies,  the 
Highlanders,  Light  Infantry,  under  Major  Scott,  picked  marksmen  from  all 
the  regiments,  and  colonial  irregulars,  was  to  be  in  readiness  at  the  Neptune, 
distinguished  by  a  single  lantern.  After  midnight  no  other  lights  were  to  be 
shown  on  the  transports,  and  the  men  were  cautioned  to  prevent  the  accidental 
discharge  of  a  musket,  as  the  General's  intention  was  to  surprise  the  French  as 
well  as  attack  them.  He  asked  for  the  care  and  vigilance  of  the  officers  of  the 
transports,  and  expressed  his  confidence  in  the  good  disposition  of  the  troops, 
and  added  that  should  the  Admiral  and  General  decide  to  alarm  the  enemy 
earlier,  the  troops  were  to  take  no  notice. 

Although  the  fire  from  the  French  positions,  well  maintained  between  the 
4th  and  yth,  indicated  that  they  were  stronger  than  Amherst  had  thought, 
it  did  not  alter  his  later  dispositions,1  and  the  attack  was  arranged  for  in 
this  order  : 

The  right  wing  directed  against  Pointe  Blanche  : 

Brigadier  Whitmore 

Colonel  Burton                                          and  Colonel  Foster 

Regiments  1st  Royals  48  Webb's 

47  Laselles'  58  Anstruther's 

2nd  Batt.  Americans  17  Forbes' 

Bragg's,  which  should  have  formed  part  of  this  brigade,  was  detached  to  make  a  feint 
to  the  eastward  to  distract  the  enemy. 

1   The  fog  lifting  on  the  7th  disclosed  to  some  degree  these  positions  to  the  British  (Gordon  Jl.  7). 

1758  THE  ATTACK 

The  left  wing  directed  against  Pointe  Platte  : 

Brigadier-General  Lawrence 
Colonel  Wilmot  and 

22nd  Whitmore's 

3rd  Batt.  Americans 

45  Warburton's 


Colonel  Handfield 
35  Ot  way's 
40  Hopson's 
15  Amherst's. 

The  63  Eraser's  were  detached  from  this  brigade  to  form  part  of 

The  Left  Attack 
Brigadier  Wolfe 
Colonels  Murray  and  Fletcher 

The  Grenadier  Companies  of  the  I5th,  22nd,  I7th,  and  1st  Regiments 
The  Irregulars  and  Light  Infantry 
The  63   Eraser's  Regiment  and   the   Grenadier  Companies  of  the  4Oth,  4yth, 

45th,  35th,  58th,  and  the   2nd  and   3rd  battalions  of  the  6oth  and   48th 

Regiments  in  the  order  named. 

The  right  wing  took  up  its  position  behind  its  supporting  frigates,  the 
Sutherland  and  Squirrel ;  the  left  were,  until  the  decisive  moment,  to  be  drawn 
up  behind  the  Gramont,  Diana,  and  Shannon  ;  while  the  left  attack  was  supported 
by  the  Kennington  frigate  and  the  Halifax  snow,  which  were  close  in  shore  at  the 
Coromandiere,  to  which  the  frigate  has  since  given  her  name.1 

Nothing  but  success  was  counted  on.  The  troops  were  to  take  in  their 
pockets  bread  and  cheese  for  two  days,  and  leave  their  blankets  to  follow  after  a 
landing  had  been  secured. 

Thursday,  June  8,  Durell  rowed  along  the  shore  unmolested  by  the 
French,  and  came  back  to  report  that  there  was  not  so  heavy  a  surf  as  to  prevent 
landing,  at  least  in  Coromandiere.  The  French  batteries  began  firing  at  the 
nearer  ships,  and  their  troops  were  mustered  in  the  entrenchments.  The  frigates 
fired  briskly  on  them  for  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  It  being  then  light,  the 
watchers  from  the  ramparts  of  the  town,  drawn  there  by  the  heavy  firing  giving 
poignancy  to  their  anxiety,  saw  three  to  four  hundred  boats  row  in  divisions 
from  between  the  sheltering  ships.  The  attack  they  thought  was  being  delivered 
on  the  eastern  points.  In  a  little  time,  before  these  boats  had  reached  the  shore, 
they  were  seen  to  turn  towards  the  Coromandiere.  As  Wolfe's  force,  the 
weakest  of  the  three  in  numbers,  but  made  up  of  picked  men,  rowed  into  the  cove, 
"  the  enemy,"  says  Amherst,  "  acted  very  wisely,  did  not  throw  away  a  shot 
until  the  boats  were  close  in  shore,"  and  then  poured  in  on  them  so  deadly  a  fire, 
as  the  soldiers  in  the  trenches  were  provided  with  spare  loaded  muskets,  that 

1  The  Kennington,  Captain  Jacobs,  had  taken  up  her  position  on  the  3rd  (Captains'  Logs,  No.  499).  As  they  were 
being  damaged  by  the  fire  from  the  shore,  she  and  the  other  frigate  were  ordered  by  Boscawen  to  warp  further  off  on 
the  4th  (Boscawen's  Journal).  On  the  morning  of  the  8th,  she  took  her  position  within  a  musket-shot  of  the  shore 
(Captains'  Logs,  No.  499). 


landing  was  impossible.  It  looked  as  if  Wolfe's  first  experience  in  command  was 
to  be  a  disastrous  failure,  for,  notwithstanding  his  eagerness  and  the  courage  of 
his  men,  his  advance  was  decisively  checked.  He  gave  the  signal  to  retreat,  and 
his  boats  turned  to  the  open.  In  Amherst's  orders,  the  officers  in  charge  were 
cautioned  to  "  avoid  huddling  together  and  running  into  a  lump."  Three  boats 
on  the  right  of  Wolfe's  force  drifted  or  rowed  towards  the  east  and  there  found 
themselves  sheltered  by  the  ridge  from  the  fire  of  St.  Julhien's  men.  Just  at  its 
foot  is  still  a  little  space  of  sand  among  the  rocks  of  the  shore.  They  effected 
a  landing  on  it.  Wolfe  saw  the  movement,  or  was  advised  of  it  by  one  of  them, 
and  turned  again  to  the  point.  The  repulse  had  not  chilled  the  ardour  of  his 
men.  A  sergeant  in  one  of  the  boats,  as  they  rowed  into  the  first  attack,  stood  up 
in  his  boat  and  cried  out,  "  Who  would  not  go  to  Hell,  to  hear  such  music  for  half 
an  hour  ?  '  A  shorter  time  was  given  him,  for  he  was  shot  dead  as  he  stood  ;  but 
there  were  many  among  the  soldiery  as  reckless  of  consequences.  Some  of  the  boats, 
when  they  reached  the  rocky  shore,  were  dashed  to  pieces  or  stove  in  by  collision. 
The  men,  Wolfe  among  them,  leaped  into  the  water.  Those  who  kept  their 
feet  waded  ashore,  those  who  fell  were  drowned  or  crushed  by  the  heaving  boats. 
Some  of  them  had  taken  regular  formation  on  the  higher  ground  before  the 
other  brigades  reached  the  shore.  St.  Julhien,  his  outlook  obscured  by  the 
smoke  of  his  own  fire  and  that  of  the  frigates,  was  busy  serving  his  guns  at  an 
enemy  which  he  thought  was  still  in  the  boats  in  front  of  his  position.  The 
distance  was  too  great  for  Marin  at  Flat  Point  to  know  what  was  taking  place. 
Some  skirmishing  between  irregulars  and  Wolfe's  men  occurred.2  When  St. 
Julhien  was  advised  of  the  landing,  he  hesitated,  lost  time,  and,  instead  of  a 
brilliant  attacked  delivered  by  him,  on  a  handful  of  men  with  wet  muskets,  what 
took  place  was  an  attack  of  his  flank  and  rear  by  an  enemy  pouring  over  the 
ridge.  His  troops,  which  had  been  in  the  trenches  in  bad  weather,  some  for  a 
week,  others  for  a  fortnight,  were  in  no  condition  to  stand  such  an  onslaught.8 
They  broke  and  fled  towards  the  town,  pursued  by  Wolfe  and  the  light  troops. 
So  rapid  was  the  advance  that  it  was  only  by  travelling  with  seven-league  boots, 
"  a  pas  de  geant,"  that  Marin's  men  were  not  cut  off  in  their  retreat  from  Flat 
Point.  The  French  rallied  for  a  little  above  the  Barachois,  but  were  there  in 
danger  of  being  surrounded  by  the  two  forces  in  which  the  British  advanced. 
The  pursuit  was  only  ended  by  a  cannonade  from  the  walls,  which  marked  for 
Amherst  the  point  at  which  he  could  safely  put  his  advanced  camps.  The 
artillery  and  stores  at  Coromandiere  and  Flat  Point  fell  into  the  English  hands. 
D'Anthonay  held  his  ground  at  White  Point  until  he  received  orders  to  retire, 

1    Hamilton  MSS.          -  "Our  troops  killed  and  scalped  an  Indian  Sachem  the  day  we  landed"  (Wolfe  to  Sackville). 
1  "  Ye  Rangers  Started   them   first,  they  Ran  and   Hollow'd  and   fired   on   behind  them   and   they  left  their  Brest 
work"  (Knap,  p.  8). 


and  then  came  in,  after  destroying  his  material.1  It  was  after  four  when  the 
attack  began,  it  was  six  when  Boscawen  landed,  and  at  about  eight  the  French 
troops  were  under  the  protection  of  the  guns  of  the  town.  So  short  a  time 
had  this  decisive  event  taken,  but  little  more  than  twice  as  long  as  leisurely 
and  unmolested  pedestrians  would  take  to  land  and  go  over  the  same  broken 

The  young  officers  who  turned  the  tide  were  Lieutenants  Hopkins  and 
Brown  and  Ensign  Grant  of  the  35th  Regiment.3  Their  exploit  may  well  have 
been  one  of  the  foundations  for  the  tradition  as  to  the  luck  of  the  British  Army. 
Wolfe's  attack  was  a  direct  frontal  one  on  an  impregnable  position.  Had  St. 
Julhien  allowed  his  enemy  to  land  and  become  entangled  in  the  abattis,  the 
appalling  disaster  which  befell  at  Ticonderoga4  the  equally  gallant  troops  of 
Abercomby  would  have  been  anticipated  at  the  Coromandiere.  Had  a  corporal's 
guard  been  on  the  ridge,  the  first  boats  might  have  been  beaten  off.  Had  Wolfe 
been  no  quicker  to  act  than  at  least  one  of  his  fellow-brigadiers,5  or  had  St. 
Julhien  been  as  quick  as  Wolfe,  success  would  have  continued  with  the  French. 
Neither  Wolfe  nor  Amherst  mention  the  incident ;  we  know  of  it  through 
private  accounts  both  French  and  English. 

The  three  young  officers  leading  Highlanders,  says  Hamilton,  the  light 
infantry,  says  Gordon,  struck  a  new  note  in  the  Seven  Years'  War.  Vacillation 
and  an  excess  of  caution  had  marked  its  conduct,  but  later  its  most  brilliant 
exploits  were  in  the  form  which  they  first  gave,  accomplishing  the  impracticable. 
Perchance  to  them  had  filtered  down  the  opinion  of  Wolfe,  "  The  greatness  of  an 
object  should  come  into  consideration  as  opposed  to  the  impediments  that  lie  in 
the  way."  Its  spirit  surely  informed  their  action.  Wolfe,  himself,  but  followed 
their  example  at  Quebec  ;  and  like  them,  Lambart  "  by  attempting  a  place  where 

1  He  did  not  spike  his  guns. 

2  After  much  hesitation  I  have  adopted  this  version  of  the  sequence  ot  these  events.     It  follows  Amherst's  account 
in  so  far  as  the  main  attack,  being  intended  against  the  Coromandiere.     There  are,  however,  difficulties  in  accepting  this 
view.     If  the  attacks  of  the  main  brigades  were  not  to  be  serious,  why  did  Whitmore  come  under  fire  ?  (Anon.  Journal). 
If  it  was  the  well-ordered  operation  which  appears  in  Amherst's  account,  it  is  difficult  to  explain  Wolfe's  view  of  the 
event,  except  by  attributing  to  him  a  talent  for  exaggeration  quite  phenomenal.     That  opinion  was,  "  Our  landing  was 
next  to  miraculous.  ...  I  wouldn't  recommend  the  Bay  of  Gabarouse  for  a  descent,  especially  as  we  managed  it "  (Wolfe 
to  Sackville,  Hist.  MSS.  Com.  Ninth  Report,  p.  76). 

The  losses  at  the  landing  were  : — 

British  Regulars  : — Killed  3  officers,  Captain  Baillie  and  Lieut.  Cuthbert  of  Fraser's.  Lieut.  Nicholson  of  Amherst's, 
4  sergeants,  i  corporal,  and  38  men.  Of  these  only  8  were  shot,  the  others  were  drowned.  Wounded  :  5  lieuts.,  2 
sergeants,  i  corporal,  and  51  men. 

Rangers  : — i  ensign  and  3  men  killed,  i  wounded  and  i  missing.  They  took  4  French  officers  and  about  70  men 
prisoners,  17  guns,  2  mortars,  and  14  swivels,  with  supplies  and  stores  of  all  kinds. 

The  French  loss  is  stated  by  Drucour  as  114,  including  deserters  from  the  Volontaires  Etrangers.  Three  officers 
were  wounded. 

3  For  the  meagre  details  I  have  been  able  to  find  about  these  officers,  see  end  of  Chapter. 

4  July  8,  1758.     See  Parkman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  chap,  xx.,  and  his  App.  G. 

5  "  Whitmore  is  a  poor,  old,  sleepy  man  "  (Wolfe  to  Sackville,  Ninth  Report  Hist.  MSS.  Com.  p.  76). 


the  mounting  of  the  rocks  was  just  possible"  won  a  foothold  at  Belle  Isle.1 
True  it  may  be  that  had  there  been  above  the  rocks  of  Coromandiere  a  post 
in  the  "  magpies'  nest,"  had  a  more  vigilant  officer  than  Vergor  held  the  outpost 
at  L'Anse  a  Koulon,  had  the  force  under  the  gallant  De  Ste.  Croix  been  larger, 
failure  and  not  success  had  befallen  the  British  arms  on  these  decisive  occasions, 
but  greatly  daring,  and  promptly  succoured,  they  all  won,  through  unexpected 
ways,  the  crucial  foothold. 


It  is  impossible  to  say  with  any  certainty  who  these  three  were.  An  examination  of 
the  records  of  the  time  reveal  one  Lieut.  Hopkins,  3  Lieuts.  Grant,  and  no  less  than  6 
Lieuts.  Brown,  all  serving  in  America  at  the  time  of  the  siege  of  Louisbourg,  and  probably 
all  serving  at  the  siege  itself. 

Hopkins. — Among  the  "Commissions  granted  by  the  Earl  of  Loudoun  during  his 
command  in  America."' 

Thomas  Hopkins  is  appointed  a  Lieutenant  in  the  48th  (Webb's)  vice  Gordon,  pd.,  on 
the  6th  June  1757.  A  Return  of  killed  and  wounded,  sent  in  Amherst's  dispatch  of 

27  July  1758,  includes  the  name  of  "Lt.  Hopkins,  of  Webb's,"  among  the  wounded.3    Presum- 
ably he  resigned  in  America,  as  among  the  Commissions  granted  by  Amherst  in  America 
we  read,  "Jno.  Clarke,  Lt.,  48th  vice  Hopkins,  resd.,  8  Mar.  1759."     The  Army  List  for 
1759  (War  Office  copy)  also  has  Hopkin's  name  crossed  out  and  a  MS.  addition — "Res. 
—John  Clarke,  8  Mar.  '59."     This  appears  to  be  the  only  Lieut.  Hopkins  who  served  at 

the  siege  of  Louisbourg.4 

Grant. — John  Grant  was  appointed  Lieutenant  to  the  58th  (Anstruther's)  28  January 
I758.3  He  appears  to  have  been  the  only  lieutenant  of  the  name  at  Louisbourg  at  the  actual 
time  of  the  surrender,  but  among  the  "Commissions  granted  by  Amherst  at  the  camp  at 
Louisbourg  "  appear  commissions  to  5 

Allan    Grant,   as    Lieutenant   of  the   Royal   Americans,    2d    Batt.,   vice    Hart,  killed, 

28  July  1758  ;  and 

Alexander  Grant,  as  Lieutenant  of  the  Royal  Americans,  3d.  Batt.,  vice  Longsdon, 
dead,  23  August  1758. 

Broivn. — The  Army  Lists  of  1758  and  1759  give  the  following  :— 

22d    (Whitmore's)  Lt.  Henry  Brown  25  Oct.  1756. 

28th  (Bragg's)  Lt.  Frans.  Brnun  9  April  1756. 

35th  (Otway's)  Lt.  Thomas  Brown  16  Feb.  1756. 

6oth  (Amherst's)  Lt.  John  Brown  9  Feb.  1756. 

1   In   1760  (see  Corbctt,  vol.  ii.  pp.  160-167,  f°r  an  account  of  this  event,  in  which  we  read   the  names  of  places 
familiar  to  us  in  the  pages  of  Dumas). 

8  (W.O.  25/25  Commission  Rooks  1757-60),  C.O.  5/53.  3  W.O.  25/25. 

«  Army  List,  1759.  3  W.O.  25/25. 



In  addition  to  these,  the  E.  of  Loudon  in  America  granted  a  commission  to  Lieut. 
William  Brown  of  the  6oth  vice  Ridge,  pd.  13  Dec.  1756  j1  and  Amherst  at  the  camp  at 
Louisbourg  granted  a  Lieutenant's  commission  to  William  Browne  of  the  35th  (Otway's) 
vice  Thomas  Comeford,  killed  31  July  1758.  A  "Lt.  Brown  of  Otway's"  is  included 
among  the  wounded  in  Amherst's  Return  of  killed  and  wounded  at  Louisbourg.  This  was 
probably  the  above-named  Lt.  Thomas  Brown,  as  William  Browne  was  only  an  ensign 
until  July  31,  four  days  later  than  the  date  of  the  return. 


Henry  Brown,  25  Oct.  1756,  Lieut.     (Disappears  in  I76i.)8 

Francis  Brown,  9  April  1756,  Lieut.     (In  the  Army  List  for  1763  there  is  written  against 

his  name,  "  Francis  Brown  28  Mar.  '63."     After  this  his  name  disappears,  so  that  is 

probably  the  date  of  his  death,  or  may  be  retirement).4 
Thomas  Brown,  16  Feb.  1756,  Lieut.     (Disappears  in  1761. )5 
John  Brown,  9  Feb.  1756,  Lieut.,  15  Sept.  1760,  Capt.     (Disappears  in  1764,  but  reappears 

in   1765  as): — 14  Jan.   1764,  Capt.;  Army  Rank,   15  Sept.   1760;   22  Sept.   1775, 

Major  ;   14  June  1777,  Retired.6 
William  Brown,  13  Dec.  1756,  Ensign;  31  Oct.  1759,  Lieut.    (Disappears  1769.)    [Toolate.] 


Allan  Grant,8  I   Feb.   1756,  Ensign;    28  July   1758,  Lieut;  7  Oct.   1763,  Regt.  Rank. 

(Continued    in   Army  Lists   until   1772,  when   his  name  is  crossed  out    and  a  Ml. 

note   written  against  it.     "  David    Alexandre    Grant,   1 1    May  '72."     He    does   not 

appear  later.) 
Alexander  Grant,9  2  Feb.  1756,  Ensign  ;  23  Aug.  1758,  Lieut.     (Crossed  out  in  the  Army 

List  of  1760  and  marked  "dd.") 

Commissions  were  granted  at  the  camp  at  Louisburgh  to  : — 
Allan  Grant,  Rl.  Americans,  2d  Battn.,  as  Lieut,  vice  Hart,  killed,  2d  July  1758. 
Alexander  Grant,  Rl.  Americans,  2d  Battn.,  as  Lieut,  vice  Longsdon,  dead,  23  Aug.  1758. 

By  referring  to  Amherst's  account  in  Gordon's  Journal  it  will  be  seen  that  the 
boats  on  the  eastward  of  Wolfe's  attack  contained  officers  and  men  of  the  ist,  of 
the  Irregulars,  Fraser's,  the  35th  and  48th  regiments,  and  next  to  the  last  named, 
the  6oth.  The  head  of  the  flotilla  having  actually  got  into  the  cove,  the  boats 
most  likely  to  get  beyond  the  sheltering  front  were  those  to  the  rear.  I  therefore 
hazard  the  opinion  that  these  officers  were  Thomas  Brown  of  the  35th  (Otway's), 
Thomas  Hopkins  of  the  48th  (Webb's),  and  one  or  other  of  the  Grants  in  the 
6oth,  for  it  does  not  seem  probable  that  a  boat  of  the  58th,  in  which  John 
Grant  was  Lieutenant,  would  have  got  from  the  extreme  left  of  the  detachment 
to  its  extreme  right. 

1  W.O.  25/25. 
4  28th  Bragg's. 
1  Army  Lists  and  Commission  Books. 

2  Army  Lists. 
5  35th  Otway's. 
8  6oth  Regiment. 

3  22nd  Regiment,  Whitmore's. 
6  6oth  Amherst's. 
9  6oth  Regiment. 



Boicawetff  "Journal 

THURSDAY,  %th  June  1758. 

At  Midnight  sent  all  the  boats  with  proper  Officers  in  them  to  assist  in  landing  the 
troops.  The  Generals  went  with  them,  attended  by  their  Aide  de  Camps.  The 
Commodore  with  Captains  Buckle,  Lindsay,  Balfour  and  Goostree  went  likewise  to  assist 
in  the  Disembarkation.  By  the  Dawn  of  the  Day  all  the  Troops  were  in  the  Boats  and 
ranged  in  their  proper  Divisions.  The  Enemy  upon  observing  of  this  motion,  began  to 
throw  Shells  amongst  the  Frigates  and  Transports.  The  Kennington  and  Halifax  ran  close 
into  Cormorant  Cove,  and  at  4  I  saw  the  Boats  rowing  towards  the  Shore  with  the  Troops 
and  at  the  Sun's  rising  the  Kennington  and  Halifax  began  to  fire  upon  the  Enemy  to  cover 
the  Landing,  which  was  followed  by  the  Sutherland^  and  rest  of  the  Frigates  placed  in 
Shore.  About  5  o'clock  the  Enemy  began  a  very  smart  Fire  at  the  Boats  with  both 
Cannon,  Swivels  and  Small  Arms,  which  continued  about  15  minutes,  when  it  ceas'd,  part 
of  the  Troops  having  Landed  and  driven  the  Enemy  out  of  their  Entrenchments. 

Gordon  s  y  ournal 

When  the  Fire  from  the  Ships  was  thought  Sufficient  the  Signal  was  made  for  the 
Grenadiers  to  row  into  the  Cove  which  they  accordingly  did.  The  Enemy  began  a  very 
hot  fire  of  Musketry  and  Swivels,  from  their  Entrenchments,  and  the  same  with  Grape 
from  their  Batteries  in  Flank.  After  standing  this  some  time  still  making  for  the  shore,  a 
small  body  of  Light  Infantry  Commanded  by  Lieutenants  Hopkins  and  Brown  and  Ensign 
Grant  of  the  35th  Regiment  seeing  a  convenient  place  on  the  right  of  the  Cove  that  is 
free  from  the  Enemy's  Fire,  the  Surge  being  equally  or  more  violent  than  in  the  Cove, 
made  for  it  and  getting  ashore,  were  soon  followed  by  the  Whole  ;  came  upon  the  Flank 
and  back  of  the  Enemy  drove  them,  and  Brigadier  Wolfe,  with  a  small  body,  pursued  them 
within  Cannonade  of  the  Town. 

The  right  and  Left  Wings  landed  afterwards  and  were  followed  by  the  second  Em- 
barkation. The  Line  was  formed  and  marched  nearer  the  Town,  laid  out  the  Encamp- 
ment for  the  Army,  every  Corps  taking  up  their  own  ground. 

Amherrfs  'Journal 

On  the  8th  The  Troops  were  in  the  Boats  before  the  break  of  Day,  in  three  Divisions 
according  to  the  Plan  annexed,  and  Comodore  Durell  having  viewed  the  boats  by  order  of 
the  Admiral  and  given  me  his  opinion  that  the  Troops  might  land,  without  danger  from 
the  Surf,  in  the  bay  on  our  left  the  Kennington  and  Halifax  now  began  the  fire  upon  the 
left  followed  by  the  Grammont^  Diana^  and  Shannon  Frigates  in  the  Centre  and  the 
Sutherland  and  Squirrell  upon  the  right,  when  the  fire  had  continued  about  a  quarter  of  an 
Hour,  the  Boats  upon  the  left  rowed  into  the  Shore  under  the  Command  of  General  Wolfe, 
whose  Detachment  was  composed  of  the  four  Eldest  Companys  of  Grenadiers,  followed  by 
the  light  Infantry  (a  Corps  of  550  men  chosen  as  Marksmen  from  the  different  Regiments, 
serve  as  Irregulars  and  are  commanded  by  Major  Scott,  who  was  Major  of  Brigade)  and 


Companys  of  Rangers,  supported   by  the   Highland   Regiment,  and   those   by  the   Eight 
remaining  Companys  of  Grenadier. 

The  Division  on  the  right  under  the  Command  of  Br.  Genl.  Whitmore  consisted  of 
the  Royal,  Lascelles,  Monckton,  Forbes,  Anstruther  and  Webb,  and  rowed  to  our  right 
by  the  White  Point  as  if  intending  to  force  a  landing  there. 

The  Centre  Division  under  the  command  of  Br.  Genl.  Lawrence  was  formed  of 
Amherst's,  Hopson's,  Otway's,  Whitmore's  Lawrence's  and  Warburton's,  and  made  at 
the  same  time  a  Shew  of  landing  at  the  fresh  water  Cove  :  this  drew  the  Enemy's  atten- 
tion to  every  part  and  prevented  their  Troops  posted  along  the  Coast  from  Joining  those 
on  their  right. 

The  Enemy  acted  very  wisely,  did  not  throw  away  a  Shot  till  the  Boats  were  near  in 
shore,  and  then  directed  the  whole  fire  of  their  Cannon  and  Musketry  upon  them  :  the  Surf 
was  so  great  that  a  place  could  hardly  be  found,  to  get  a  boat  on  shore ;  notwithstanding 
the  fire  of  the  Enemy  and  the  Violence  of  the  Surf,  Brigadier  Wolfe  pursued  his  point,  and 
landed  just  at  their  left  of  the  Cove,  took  post,  attacked  the  enemy,  and  forced  them  to 
retreat.  Many  Boats  overset,  several  broke  to  Pieces,  and  all  the  Men  jumped  into  the 
water  to  get  on  shore. 

As  soon  as  the  left  Division  was  landed  the  first  Detachment  of  the  Centre  rowed  at 
a  proper  time  to  the  left  and  followed,  then  the  remainder  of  the  Centre  division  as  fast  as 
the  boats  could  fetch  them  from  the  Ships,  and  the  right  Division  followed  the  Centre  in 
like  manner. 

It  took  a  great  deal  of  time  to  land  the  Troops,  the  enemy's  retreat,  or  rather  flight, 
was  through  the  roughest  and  worst  ground  I  ever  saw,  and  the  pursuit  ended  with  a 
canonading  from  all  the  town  which  was  so  far  of  use,  that  it  pointed  out  how  near  I  could 
encamp  to  invest  it,  on  which  the  Regiments  marched  to  their  ground,  and  lay  on  their 
Arms.  The  Wind  increased,  and  we  could  not  get  anything  on  shore. 

Anon.  Journal  (Brit.  Mus.  Add.  MSS.  11,813,  f.  82-88). 

The  morning  very  Clear,  Little  wind  and  Surge.  The  Troops  Rendezvoused 
according  to  order  at  \  past  3  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Our  Bomb  Ketch  then  Began 
to  Exchange  shells  with  the  Enemy  at  4  o'clock  our  Frigates  and  Sloops  Cannonaded 
furiously.  \  past  4  the  Left  wing  rowed  close  in  with  the  shore,  in  Fresh  Water  Cove, 
the  Enemy  kept  so  brisk  a  fire  from  their  Entrenchments  and  from  three  Batterys  with 
Grape  shot  that  our  troops  were  order'd  to  retreat  and  Land  to  ye  Right  of  ye  Cove, 
which  they  perfected  with  Great  Difficulty,  One  Boat  in  which  were  Twenty  Grenadiers 
and  an  officer  was  stove,  and  Every  one  Drowned.  The  African  Rangers 1  under  the 
Command  of  Major  Scott,  were  the  first  that  Landed.  Fifty  of  these  repulsed  above 
a  hundred  French,  who  were  coming  to  oppose  the  landing  of  our  men,  the  Difficulty 
of  Landing  at  this  place  was  such  that  they  thought  the  Devil  himself  would  not  have 
attempted  it. 

An  Authentic  Account^  June  8. 

About  4  this  morning  under  cover  of  the  Ship's  Guns,  the  Boats  with  a  Division  of 
the  Troops,  after  a  general  Rendezvous  near  White  Point^  made  an  Attempt  of  landing 

1  An  obvious  mistake  for  "American." 



to  the  Left  at  Kennington  Cove  with  600  Light  Infantry.  The  whole  Battalion  of 
Highlanders,  and  4  Companies  of  Grenadiers,  under  the  Command  of  Brigadier  General 
Wolfe  ;  while  a  Feint  of  landing  was  made  to  the  Right  towards  White  Point  conducted 
by  Brigadier  General  Whitmore  ;  and  the  Brigades  in  the  centre  were  commanded  by 
Brigadier  General  Laurence,  who  made  a  Shew  at  Fresh-Water  Cove,  the  move  to  distract 
the  Enemy's  Attention,  and  to  divide  their  Force. 

The  Left  Wing  finding  the  Shore  at  Kennington  Cove  impregnable,  withdrew  with 
some  loss  from  the  warm  fire  of  two  Batteries  discharging  Grape  and  round  Shot  upon  them 
in  Flank  ;  while  several  Swivels,  and  small  Arms  almost  without  number  showered  on  them 
from  the  Lines,  that  were  about  15  feet  above  the  Level  of  the  Boats. 

As  the  Enemy  had  for  some  Tears  been  preparing  against  such  a  probable  attempt ; 
they  had  now  been  some  Days  in  Expectation  of  our  Visit  :  They  had  accordingly  posted 
3000  Regulars,  Irregulars,  and  a  few  of  the  native  Indians,  in  all  the  probable  places  of  the 
landing,  behind  a  very  strong  Breast-work  fortified  at  proper  Distances  with  several  pieces 
of  Cannon,  besides  Swivels  of  an  extraordinary  Calibre,  mounted  on  very  strong  perpen- 
dicular Stocks  of  Wood,  driven  deep  into  the  Ground  :  They  had  also  prepared  for  flank- 
ing, by  erecting  Redans  mounted  with  Cannon  in  the  most  advantageous  Situations — 
Nothing  of  the  Kind  has  perhaps  been  seen  more  complete  than  these  Fort ific ation s. 

Besides,  all  the  approaches  to  the  Front  fines  were  rendered  so  extremely  difficult  by 
the  Trees  they  had  laid  very  thick  together  upon  the  Shore  round  all  the  Cove,  with  their 
Branches  lying  towards  the  sea,  for  the  Distances  of  20  in  some,  and  of  30  Yards  in 
other  places,  between  the  Lines  and  the  Water's  Edge  ;  that,  had  our  people  not  been 
exposed  to  such  a  Fire  from  the  Enemy,  the  bare  attempt  of  possessing  these  Lines, 
would  have  been  like  that  of  travelling  towards  them  through  a  wild  Forest,  from  the 
interwoven  Branches  of  one  Tree  to  those  of  another  with  incredible  Fatigue  and  endless 

Nor,  was  this  Stratagem  possible  to  be  suspected  at  any  great  Distance,  as  the  Place 
had  the  Appearance  of  one  continued  Green  of  little  scattered  Branches  of  Fir.  And,  but 
very  few  of  the  Guns  on  their  Lines  were  to  be  distinguished  out  of  the  Reach  of  their 
Metal,  the  rest  were  artfully  concealed  from  our  View  with  Spruce-Branches  until  the  Boats 
advanced  towards  the  Shore,  with  the  Resolution  of  forcing  the  Works — The  latent 
Destruction  was  then  unmasked,  by  the  removal  of  the  Spruce-Branches  and  the  adventurous 
Spectators  were  soon  convinced,  those  works  were  not  capable  of  being  forced  by  numbers 
much  superior  to  theirs.  The  Enemy  depended  much  on  their  Strength  here,  which  perhaps 
occasioned  them  to  be  somewhat  premature  in  their  exertion  of  it.  For,  before  our  Boats 
came  near  the  water's  edge,  they  began  with  great  alertness  to  play  their  Batteries,  and  to 
fire  red  hot  Balls,  besides  a  continual  Discharge  of  their  small  Arms  among  them.  The 
consequence  had  been  much  more  fatal  to  our  People,  few  if  any  of  whom  would  have 
escaped,  had  the  enemy  timed  their  fire  with  more  Judgment,  by  permitting  the  Boats  to 
have  actually  landed  their  men  on  that  narrow  Shoal  beach,  taking  no  other  notice  of  them 
until  they  had  been  all  in  their  Power,  than  they  had  done  before  of  the  Fire  from  our 
Frigates,  and  of  some  Boats  that  had  been  with  Commodore  Durell  to  reconnoitre  the 
Shore,  before  any  of  the  Troops  had  put  off  from  the  Transports. 

Exasperated,  not  discouraged,  at  this  Repulse  from  the  Enemy's  irristible  Fire,  the 

1  Authentic  Account,  etc.,  June  8. 


troops  of  that  IVing,  drew  off  with  all  convenient  expedition  towards  the  Centre,  determined 
to  rush  on  Shore  wherever  they  saw  any  Probability  of  Success,  whatever  Loss  they  might 
sustain.  Soon  after  this  the  Lieutenants  Browne  and  Hopkins,  with  Ensign  Grant  and 
about  100  of  the  Light  Infantry  happily  gained  the  Shore  over  almost  impracticable  Rocks 
and  Steeps  to  the  Right  of  the  Cove.  Upon  which  Brigadier  Wolfe  directed  the  Remainder 
of  this  Command  to  push  on  Shore  as  soon  as  possible,  and  as  well  as  they  could — which 
heightened  their  eager  Impatience  so  much,  that  the  Light  Infantry,  Highlanders  and 
Grenadiers  intermixed,  rushed  forward  with  impetuous  Emulation,  without  Regard  to  any 
previous  Orders,  and  piqued  themselves  mightily  which  Boat  could  be  most  dexterous  and 
active  in  getting  first  on  Shore.  In  this  manner,  though  all  the  while  exposed  to  the  Fire 
of  a  Battery  of  three  Guns,  that  sometimes  raked,  sometimes  flanked  their  Boats  very 
furiously,  and  of  small  arms  within  20  yards  of  them,  they  were  all  expeditiously  landed 
with  little  loss,  besides  about  22  Grenadiers,  who  were  unfortunately  drowned  by  having 
their  Boats  stove  in  the  Bold  Attempt. 

Among  the  foremost  of  these  parties  was  Brigadier  Wolfe,  who  jumped  out  of  his  Boat 
into  the  Surf  to  get  to  the  Shore,  and  was  readily  followed  by  numbers  of  the  Troops  amidst 
a  most  obstinate  Fire  of  the  Enemy.  Soon  after  landed  Brigadier  Lawrence,  and  was 
followed  by  the  rest  of  the  Brigades  with  all  possible  expedition.  After  him  in  a  little 
time  Brigadier  Whitmore,  and  the  Division  of  the  Right  Wing,  gained  the  Shore,  amidst 
a  continual  Charge  of  Shot  and  Shells,  from  the  Enemy's  Lines,  several  of  the  latter  reach- 
ing also  as  far  as  the  Brigades  in  the  Centre.  And  last  of  all  landed  the  Commander  in 
Chief.  Major-General  Amherst  in  the  Rear,  full  of  the  highest  Satisfaction  from  seeing 
the  Resolution,  Bravery  and  Success  of  the  Troops  on  surmounting  Difficulties  and 
despising  Dangers. 

The  Lieutenant  of  Warburton's  ("  Valbetone  "),  who  died  at  Louisbourg 
after  the  siege,  who  was  in  the  division  which  attacked  the  Sandy  Cove 
(Coromandiere),  "  said  to  me  that  their  landing  on  the  left  of  the  Cove  was 
made  by  chance,  that  they  had  not  believed  this  place  possible  for  landing,  that 
three  boats  had  sought  there  refuge  from  our  fire  (s'y  etaient  jettees  pour  eviter 
notre  feu),  and  that  they  had  signalled  the  others  to  come  on"  (avaient  fait  signal 
aux  autres  d'advancer). — (Poilly's  Journal.) 

Princess  Amelia. — Captain's  Log.  No.  736.     Captn.  John  Bray. 

June  8,  1758. — Sent  boats  "to  assist  landing  Coll.  :  Fraizer  Grenadiers  first  &  then 
what  other  Troops  that  remained  not  Landed  a  Cutter  with  a  Mate  to  Land  the  Rangers 
at  sun  rising  the  Sutherland  &  all  the  Frigates  began  a  Cannonading  the  Enemy's  Batteries 
&  Breast  Works  the  Boats  with  the  Troops  at  the  same  time  begun  to  Approach  the  shore 
the  Enemy  suffer'd  them  to  Come  within  pistol  shot  of  the  shore  before  they  began  to  fire 
and  then  begun  to  fire  with  Great  Guns  &  small  arms  excessively  hot  which  continued 
14  minutes,  but  some  Boats  getting  into  some  Rocks  a  little  to  the  Eastward  of  the  Bay 
Landed  about  40  Rangers  which  Clamber'd  up  them  &  got  into  a  small  wood  which 
Flank'd  the  Enemy's  Breastworks,  which  when  perceived  by  them  on  receiving  their  Fire 
quitted  their  Battery  &  Breastworks  &  took  to  the  woods  with  the  utmost  Precipitation 
in  the  Battery  &  Breastwork  were  upwards  of  noo  men,  the  Landing  then  became 


General  they  now  and  then  firing  single  musquets  out  of  the  woods  at  the  Boats."     They 
5  killed  &  10  wounded. 


Three  barges  of  this  division  to  avoid  our  fire,  rushed  (ce  sont  jette")  behind  a  head 
Cap  called  Cap  Rouge,  which  encloses  the  left  of  this  Cove  (Coromandiere).  On  this  head 
thev  had  built  a  "nid  de  pie,"  where  unhappily  there  was  no  detachment  for  what  reason 
I  know  not.  These  barges  found  here  a  nook  or  two  where  they  landed  their  men,  and 
the  third  went  to  seek  the  others. — (Anon.  Journal.) 

This  division  (Wolfe's)  thus  shattered  (Rompie)  sought  to  retire  beyond  our  fire. 
Their  right  sheltered  themselves  by  the  rocks  which  ended  our  entrenchments  unmolested 
(Comme  ils  Voulurent).  Seeing  that  they  were  not  observed  they  tried  to  land  among 
the  rocks,  and  did  it  so  diligently  that  they  had  already  put  a  considerable  number  of  men 
on  shore  before  they  were  seen. — (Poilly.) 

The  W.S.W.  winds  drove  the  smoke  of  the  cannon  on  shore,  and  in  this  they  were 
favorable  to  the  enemy,  nevertheless  of  the  first  boats  which  entered  the  Coromandiere 
there  were  a  score  destroyed  by  our  artillery.  One  noticed  that  the  others  curved  toward 
the  second  division  with  the  exception  of  five  or  six  which  through  fear  or  through  a 
knowledge  of  the  ground  went  into  the  cove  Nid  de  Pie  twelve  or  fourteen  yards  across  in 
sand  surrounded  by  steep  rocks  situated  between  the  Coromandiere  after  Sandy  Cove  and 
Flat  Point,  a  place  where  there  had  been  last  year  a  detachment  of  twenty-five  or  thirty 
men,  and  this  year  none.  Thus  the  first  barges  landed  troops  without  opposition  and  the 
first  success  drew  on  the  others. — (Drucour.) 

Capricieux. — At  four  o'clock  in  the  morning,  a  little  before  the  enemies  made  a  general 
attack  in  Gabarus,  all  (of  them)  who  appeared  before  the  entrenchments  were  driven  back, 
but  the  second  line  of  the  forces  which  had  attacked  the  Coromandiere  seeing  the  first 
repulsed  drew  off  to  the  left,  and  having  found  a  ravine  got  on  shore  there,  some  boats  of 
the  first  line  followed  them. 

Jeuly  8  a  4  heures  du  matin  un  peu  avant  les  enemies  ont  fait  une  ataque  gdneYale 
dans  Gabarus,  tout  ce  qui  s'est  presente  devant  les  retranchements  a  £t£  repousse,  mais  la 
seconde  ligne  de  troupes  de  dibarquement  qui  avoient  ataqud  la  Coromandiere  voyant  la 
premiere  repousee  a  fi!6  sur  la  gauche,  et  ayant  trouv6  un  ravin  y  a  mis  pied  a  terre,  quelques 
barges  de  la  Pre  ort  suivis. — (Tourville  of  the  Capricieux.} 

They  advanced  their  barges  towards  two  large  bays.  .  .  .  The  English  maintained 
their  attack  a  long  time  without  being  further  advanced  than  the  loss  of  a  great  number 
of  men,  and  without  being  able  to  force  the  retrenchments.  A  struggling  barge  that  in 
appearance  had  been  repulsed  from  the  bays  discovered  a  small  creek,  where  two  boats 
could  enter  at  the  same  time.  This  creek  was  on  the  left  of  the  regiment  of  Artois,  and 
through  negligence  was  left  without  a  guard,  although  it  was  so  surely  comprehended  in 
the  general  plan  of  defense  the  year  before  that  in  the  summer  of  1757  I  was  posted  there 
with  a  detachment.  .  .  .  This  barge  gave  a  signal  to  the  others  to  follow,  and  at  last  they 
all  slipped  away  from  the  two  bays  (Coromandiere  and  Flat  Point)  without  being  remarked 
by  the  French  in  their  retrenchments  until  several  thousand  of  English  soldiers  had  been 
landed  and  drawn  up  in  battle  array,  having  cut  off  the  regiment  of  Artois  from  the  rest 
of  our  troops. — Johnstone  (Que.  Lit.  and  Hist.  Soc.). 






No.  of 

No.  of 



Sailed  from 






Hon.  Adi.  Boscawen 

Phil.  Afflick 

15  .  2.  1758 

Matw.  Buckle 


Portsmouth  * 

In  No.  America 

23d  from 

under       the 


Royal  William  . 



Sir  Chas.  Hardy 

Wm.  Dumaresq 


commd.  of  the 
Honble.     Adi. 

Thos.  Evans 


Prs.  Amelia 



Commre.  Durell 

Wm.  Hall 



John  Bray 


Dublin      . 



G.  B.  Rodney 

Jams.  Worth 

16.  3  .  1758 

In  No.  America 


Terrible    . 



Rd.  Collins 

Wm.  Chads 

16  .  4.  1757 

under     the 





Rt.  Hble.  Ld.  Colville 

Edwd.  Thornborough 

16  .4.  1757 

-     command   ol 


Orford      . 



Rd.  Spry 

Ridgwl.  Sheward 

16  .  4.  1757 

Vice-  Adi. 



Somerset    , 



Edwd.  Hughes 

Robt.  Mortimer 

12.7.  1757 

Gone  to  No. 






Robt.  Swanton 

Humphy.  Rawlins 



Burford    . 



Jas.  Gambier 

Thos.  Pemble 

23  •  2.   1758 




Captain    . 
Bedford    . 



Hble.  G.  Edgcumbe 
Wm.  Gordon 
John  Amherst  . 
Thorpe  Fowke 

Thos.  Barker 
Salkd.  Jno.  Proctor 
Saml.  Spendlove 
Lews.  Davies 

23   .  2.   1758 

29  .  6  .  1757 

2O  .   I   .    1758 
23   .  2  .   1758 

Gone    to    No. 
America  under 
•  the  commd.  ol 
Honble.     Adi 


Gr.  Frederick    . 



Robt.  Man 

Jno.  Gordon 

29  .   I   .   1758 


Defiance   ,         , 



Patk.  Baird 

Heny.  Phillips 

2-5-   1757 



Pembroke  . 



Jno.  Simcoe 

Geo.  Allan 

23   .  2  .   1757 





Hugh  Pigot 

Thos.  Fitzherbert 

30  .   I   .   1758 


Kingston   . 



Wm.  Parry 

Wm.  Cock 

16.4.   1757 

In  No.  America 


Pr.  of  Orange    . 



Jno.  Fergusson 
Saml.  Marshall 

Jno.  Jarden 
Wm.  Bunyan 

23.3  .   1758 
23  .2  .   1758 

under      the 
command     ol 





Capt.  Rous 

Isah.  Hay 

6.4.   1756 

Honble.    Adi. 

from  Cork 


Centurion  ,         . 



Wm.  Mantell 

Jno.  Barnsley 

16  .4.  1757 

Hoses  wen. 





Jno.  Vaughan 

Chas.  Wood 

29  .  i  .  1758 





Alexr.  Schomberg 

Jos.  Norwood 

14.  i  .  1758 


Boreas       . 



Hble.  Rt.  Boyle 

Jno.  Bernard 

21   .   I   .   1758 





Jno.  Lindsay 

Patk.  Calder 

23  .2  .    1758 


Shannon    . 


1  60 

Chas.  Medows 
Paul  H.  Ourry 

Jno.  Mann 
Thos.  Piercy 

23  .  2  .   1758 
23.12.   1754 




1  60 

Robt.  Bond 

Thos.  Ellis 

25  .    I   .   1758 




1  60 

Robt.  Routh 

Robt.  Carpenter 

24.  9  .  1757 


Squirrel    . 


1  60 

Jno.  Wheelock 

Crean  Percival 

15  .  i  .  1758 




1  60 

Maxm.  Jacobs 

Lewis  Gordon 

23  .  2  .   1758 


Gramont  . 



Jno.  Stott 

Petr.  Baskerville 

IS  .  2  .   1758 



10.  14 


Jno.  Laforey 

Jno.  Sharpe 

25   .   I   .   1758 





Robt.  Hathorne 

Wm.  Denne 

16.4.   1757 





Wm.  Goostrey 

Hy.  Ashington 

23  .  2  .   1758 






Geo.  Balfour 

Wm.  Bloom 

23  .  2.   1758 





Davd.  Pryce 

25  .    I   .   1758 



Eighteen  of  these  Captains  had  served  as  recently  as  1757  in  American  waters. 



Commanding  Officers  on  the  Expedition  against  the  Fortress  of  Louisbourg 

Major-Gcneral  JKKFRY  AMHKRST,  Commandcr-in-Chicf  of  His  Majesty's  Forces. 
Brigadier-General  RDW\RD  WHITMORK.  Brigadier-General  CHARLES  LAWRHNCK.  |  Brigadier-General  JAMKS  WOLKK. 
Train  of  Artillery  commanded  by  Colonel  GEORGE  WILLIAMSON. 
Chief  Engineer  —  Colonel  JOHN  HENRY  BASTIDE. 
Rangers  commanded  by  Lt.  -Colonel  SCOTT. 

3I!J  l'uc  1UEH 


l~-*  t^^        r^  ^^ 
VO    O        00    i^ 

N    •*•       r^-  «^. 





>">                 W, 

•-                  O 

—     •              • 
~              "« 

w                   O 

<                  "     C 


c    0           CQ 

'w   c       -^  -^ 








«?,£  SvS'fcSSJrs^S^I 


oc    CT^  O    O    O    *t*  ^O    ^  oc    O   *^  O    f  ^  N 



cxi   »^^rxQ   O   o&cooocsc    ^vsr^ 


•»1.N  .norfjns 









os  r-  <*oo  oc  v^o  sc   osoo  ^  r.  t-  o 



Ooo    O    r-xs^M^    r-.  »^.vo  oc    O^O    H 



r^oo   ^.oc   ,,..^^  ^r.ocso^   o 

r  . 


:-    :    -.---    \  ~  ~  ~ 





•  _    '.**''.'.''.'.'.',,**. 



c    ::::::::::  £  c  c 

r«                                                                  N    "i  M 


Modern  Name. 



Royal  Scots  (Lothian  Regt.) 
East  Yorkshire  Regt. 
Leicestershire  Regt.  . 
Cheshire  Regt.  .... 
ist  Batt.  Gloucester  Regt. 
Royal  Sussex  Regt.  (ist  Batt.)  . 
Prince  of  Wales'  Volunteers  (South  L 
ist  Batt.  Sherwood  Foresters  (Derbys 
Loyal  North  Lancashire  Regt.  (Wolfe 
ist  Batt.  Northamptonshire  Regt. 
2ml  Batt.  Northamptonshire  Regt. 
King's  Royal  Rifle  Corps  . 
King's  Royal  Rifle  Corps  . 
The  Seaforth  Highlanders 




Effective  total 

.«.'".           "5         .  "t  "c  -" 
„  C      |  .-"•££  JS  J  -  J  e  .- 


-  r  ^s°s  z  3.  s  £°s.^g  £  «£ 





u   u 

O    O 

U     C 

.S  o 







Supplied.  Expended. 

Canon         ....               88  13 

Mortars       ....               52  I 

Howitzers  ....                6  8 

Shot            ....       45,86i  14^30 

Shells  and  carcasses              .             .       41,962  339° 
Grenades    ....          4000 

Powder  bbls.            .              .              .          4888  1493 

Sand-bags                 .             .             .     115,000  39,5oo 

Cartridges  ....       53,513  3°>23° 

Musket       ....     726,756  750,000 

Fuzes          ....       45,261  I4)II9 

It  may  be  noted  that  only  in  musket  cartridges  was  the  supply  short.  In  other  things 
only  about  one-third  of  the  supply  was  used.  The  above  statistics  are  from  Gordon's 

No  such  accurate  figures  are  available  for  the  French  forces  in  Louisbourg.  They 
seem  to  have  been  : 


Guns.  Men. 

Prudent      .              .              .              .74  680 

Entreprenant            .             .              .74  680 

Capri 'deux  .              .              .              .64  440 

Cltebre  /      .             .             .             .64  440 

Bienfaisant               .              .              .64  440 

Apollo           .              .              .              .50  350  * 

Ar&thuse      ....          36  270 

Fidtte          .             .              .              -3°  27° 

Chh)re         .              .              .              .16  150 

Biche           .              .              .              .16  150 

494  387° 


Artois             ......  520 

Bourgogne      ......  520 

Cambis            ......  680 

Volontaires  Etrangers  .  .  .  .680 

Compagnies  D6tach£es            ....  1000 

Gunners  120 


There  was  an  overwhelming  superiority  on  the  side  of  the  attack,  demonstrating  the 
value  of  fortifications,  which  in  this  case  were  neither  well  placed  nor  substantial. 

1  The  complement  of  the  four  smaller  ships  have  been  estimated. 


THERE  was  great  caution  displayed  by  the  British  leaders  in  carrying  out  their 
careful  preparations.  The  site  of  the  camp  was  the  same  as  in  1745.  It  was 
now  strongly  entrenched.  Blockhouses  or  other  protective  works  were  erected  : 
three  on  the  west  side,  another  to  the  north,  and  a  fifth  on  the  Mire  road, 
beyond  which  was  placed  the  camp  of  the  Rangers.  These  works  were  to 
protect  the  army  from  the  attacks  of  the  Indians  and  irregulars,  and  to  prevent 
such  disturbance  as  had  befallen  other  British  commanders  in  American  warfare. 
Similar  works,  three  in  number,  were  placed  on  the  other  side  of  the  camp,  to 
guard  against  operations  from  the  town,  and  to  make  secure  a  way  to  the  site 
of  the  batteries  for  its  bombardment. 

Louisbourg  was  open  to  attack  from  both  land  and  sea  ;  on  the  latter  side, 
success  involved  the  destruction  of  the  Island  Battery,  and  the  men-of-war  in 
the  port.  It  may  be  recalled  that  Warren  strongly  expressed  the  opinion  that 
it  would  be  madness,  even  when  there  were  no  ships  in  the  port,  to  attempt  to 
force  a  passage  past  the  Island  Battery.  It  follows  that,  until  this  battery  and  the 
French  ships  were  reduced  to  defensive  inefficiency,  the  function  of  Boscawen's 
fleet  was  that  of  an  adjunct  to  the  land  forces.1* 

When,  however,  a  way  into  the  port  was  made  clear,  or,  by  a  desperate 
coup  de  main,  it  was  forced,  the  town,  scantily  protected  on  this  side,  was  doomed, 
without  one  shot  having  been  fired  against  its  walls.  Equally,  a  destruction  of 
its  land  defences  would  place  the  men-of-war  in  the  harbour  in  a  cul-de-sac 
between  the  guns  of  the  conquered  town,  the  batteries  which  had  reduced  it,  and 
the  hostile  fleet  waiting  at  the  harbour  mouth.  It  is  obvious  that  carrying  on, 
together,  both  attacks,  would  expedite  the  fall  of  the  fortress,  but  the  only 
means  of  attack  on  the  ships,  and  the  Island  Battery,  was  by  artillery  on  the 
Lighthouse  Point.  The  reports  of  Hardy's  frigates,  and  the  result  of  a  night 
expedition  sent  on  June  2  to  discover  the  enemy's  strength  to  the  eastward,  gave 
Amherst  reason  to  believe  that  the  landing-places  were  then  occupied,  and  that 

1   Attention  is  directed  to  the  large  map  of  the  siege  operations. 
2  For  its  great  importance  see  Logs  of  the  Fleet,  Wood,  Champlain  Society. 



to  some  degree,  on  a  landing  on  that  side,  the  attack  on  the  Coromandiere  would 
have  to  be  repeated. 

Not  only  was  there  this  operation  to  face,  but  when  hostilities  actually 
began,  there  were  five  men-of-war  and  one  frigate  in  the  port  to  supplement  the 
land  defences  of  the  French.  These  ships  of  the  line  mounted  twice  as  many 
guns  as  the  shore  batteries.  Their  crews,  if  fully  manned,1  equalled  three- 
quarters  of  the  troops  and  militia.  Their  mobility  added  greatly  to  their 
powers  of  offence.  Boscawen's  and  Hardy's  ships  kept  them,  it  is  true,  in  the 
harbour,  but  it  afforded  safe  anchorage  for  the  largest  of  them  within  four  or 
five  hundred  yards  of  the  places  on  the  shore  where  any  effective  batteries  could 
be  erected.  The  power  of  the  ships  to  impede  the  siege  operations  was  fully 
recognized  by  the  British,2  but  that  power  of  the  fleet  was  minimized  by  the 
independence  of  its  commodore.  The  regulations  of  his  service  made  necessary 
the  Governor's  permission  for  him  to  leave  port.  He  had  to  consult  with 
Drucour,  but  in  other  respects  he  disposed  of  his  ships  at  his  discretion. 

The  weather  continued  bad,3  and  there  was  great  delay  in  landing  materials. 
It  was  the  i6th  before  a  moderate  reserve  of  twelve  days'  provisions  was  landed, 
and  no  heavy  artillery  had  yet  been  put  on  shore.  On  the  nth  some  6-lb. 
guns  were  landed  ;  on  the  i8th  the  first  24-lb.  gun  ;  as  late  as  the  3rd  of  July 
we  find  in  Boscawen's  journal  that  they  were  still  landing  stores,  so  that  it  was 
a  month  before  all  the  materials  and  guns  were  transferred  from  the  ships  and 
transports  to  various  points  on  the  shore. 

These  preliminary  works  of  encampment  and  defence  seemed  so  important 
to  Amherst  that  he  did  not,  until  the  iyth,  personally  look  over  the  ground. 
He,  then,  accompanied  by  Bastide  and  McKellar,  chief  and  second  engineers,  and 
Williamson,  in  command  of  the  artillery,  rode  out  toward  the  citadel.4  The 
tone  of  Amherst's  remarks  indicates  that  he  was  not  entirely  in  accord  with 
Bastide,  who,  Amherst  says,  "was  determined  in  his  opinion  of  making 
approaches  by  the  Green  Hill,  and  confining  the  destruction  of  the  ships  in  the 
harbour  to  the  Lighthouse  Point  and  the  batteries  on  the  side." 5 

In  the  meantime  operations  had  been  begun  under  the  command  of  Wolfe. 
The  first  deserters,  a  sergeant  and  four  men  of  the  Volontaires  Etrangers,  came 
in  on  the  loth,  and  with  false  information  as  to  the  spirit  of  their  regiment,  told 
the  truth  in  informing  Amherst  that  the  detachments  to  the  eastward  had  been 
called  in,  and  the  Grand  and  the  Lighthouse  Batteries  destroyed.  This 

1  There  was,  however,  much  sickness  among  their  men,  and  in  some  cases  at  least  they  were  below  their  full 

2  "  The  opinion  of  most  people  here,  sea  and  land,  who  had  a  terrible  notion  of  their  broadsides  "  (Wolfe  Hist.  MSS. 
Com.  ix.  p.  76).  3  See  logs  of  ships  for  weather  conditions. 

4  The  ground  was  familiar  from  1745  to  Bastide,  who  since  then  had  served  at  Port  Mahon. 
6  Amherst  to  Pitt,  June  23,  C.O.  5/53. 


determined  the  place  at  which  to  begin.  Four  hundred  Rangers,  as  an  advanced 
guard,  started  at  two  in  the  morning  of  June  12.  Wolfe,  with  his  force,  1220 
men  drawn  from  all  the  regiments,  and  four  grenadier  companies,1  in  light 
marching  order,2  set  out  at  five. 

The  weather  favoured  them.  They  marched  round  the  harbour  in  a  fog 
so  thick  that  they  could  not  see  the  men-of-war,  although  they  were  so  near 
that  they  "  heard  very  plain  the  noise  they  made  on  Board  in  the  course  of  their 
duty."  Unseen  and  unheard  by  the  ships,  they  escaped  cannonade,  and  by  the 
late  afternoon  had  visited  Lorembec  and  made  two  encampments,  one  under 
Major  Ross  at  the  head  of  the  North  East  Harbour,  and  another,  the  main 
camp,  under  Wolfe  by  the  Lighthouse.3  They  found  in  the  French  camps  the 
tents  still  standing,  the  cannon  useless,  and  a  considerable  quantity  of  tools. 
They  opened  the  entrenchments  so  that  the  artillery,  which  was  being  sent  by 
sea  to  the  camp,  could  be  landed.  While  these  things  were  being  done,  the 
Rangers  returned  to  the  main  camp.  It  was  found  when  the  Island  Battery 
opened  fire  on  them  the  next  morning  (ijth)  that  it  reached  Wolfe's  camp 
which  was,  therefore,  moved  back  to  a  place  of  more  security,  and  the  work  of 
making  roads  to  the  sites  selected  for  batteries  was  vigorously  pushed  on.  Wolfe 
was  now,  for  the  first  time,  in  command.  His  orders  show  the  vigour  of  his 
actions,  the  care  he  took  not  only  of  the  health  but  of  the  comfort  of  his  men, 
his  judiciousness  not  only  in  equalizing  duties  but  in  the  rewards  of  rum  and 
fresh  fish  he  gave  to  those  who  had  worked  hard.  Their  tone  inspired  his  men, 
and  his  reputation  for  fearlessness  and  activity  soon  spread  from  this  detachment, 
not  only  throughout  the  army  but  even  to  the  French. 

The  latter  had  been  busy  on  their  side  with  results  which  made  a  greater 
show  than  those  of  the  English.  The  latest  landed  companies  of  Cambis 
arrived  in  the  town  on  the  8th.  Duchaffault  was  warned,  by  an  express 
overland,  not  to  attempt  to  gain  Louisbourg.  Hardy  had  taken  his  position, 
on  the  loth,  close  to  the  harbour-mouth  to  prevent  any  vessels  slipping  out, 
but  the  Bizarre  to  Quebec,  and  the  Comete  carrying  news  to  France,  successfully 
eluded  him.  The  Echo,  which  sailed  on  the  I3th  was,  however,  pursued  and 

Drucour's  forces  and  materials  were  complete.  It  was  his  duty  with  them 
to  save  the  town,  or  at  worst  to  delay  its  capture  to  the  latest  possible  day. 
He  had  made  the  repulse  of  landing  the  vital  element  of  his  defence  ;  when 
it  failed  he  felt  the  town  was  lost. 

Those  of  Otway's,  Hopson's,  Lascelles',  and  Warburton's.  3  "  The  officers  must  be  content  with  soldiers'  tentt." 

3  A  few  shot  were  fired  on  them  from  the  Island  Battery. 




"  This  unfortunate  occurrence  which  we  had  hoped  to  overcome,  casts  dismay  and 
sorrow  over  all  our  spirits,  with  every  reason,  for  it  decides  the  loss  of  the  colony  ;  the 
fortifications  are  bad,  the  walls  are  in  ruins  and  fall  down  of  themselves,  the  outer  defences 
consist  only  in  a  single  covered  way  which,  like  the  main  works,  is  open  and  enfiladed 
throughout  its  length  ;  everything  predicts  a  speedy  surrender.  What  a  loss  to  the  State 
after  the  enormous  expenses  made  by  the  King  for  Isle  Royale  since  1755  !  " 

"  Get  eVenement  malheureux  qu'on  espeYoit  surmonter  jette  de  la  consternation  et 
de  la  tristesse  dans  tous  les  esprits,  avec  d'autant  plus  de  fondement  qu'il  decide  de  la  perte 
de  la  colonie,  le  corps  de  la  place  est  mauvais,  les  murs  sont  en  ruines  qui  tombent  d'eux- 
me"mes,  les  fortifications  extdrieures  ne  consistent  que  dans  un  simple  chemin  couvert  qui 
est  donn£  et  enfil£  de  partout  ainsi  que  le  corps  de  la  place,  tout  annonce  une  r£dition 
prochaine.  Quelle  perte  pour  1'Etat  apres  les  defenses  im menses  que  le  Roy  a  faites  pour 
1'Isle  Royale  depuis  1755  !" 

At  five  the  next  morning  (9th)  a  council  was  held  at  the  Governor's 
house.  Its  members  were  the  officers  of  the  place,  of  the  Battalions,  and  of 
the  principal  ships.  Des  Gouttes,  the  Commodore,  demanded  permission  to 
take  his  ships  out  of  the  port  as  they  were  of  little  use.  He  said  that  his 
action  was  founded  on  the  repeated  demands  of  his  Captains,  made  to  him 
in  writing.1  Des  Houlieres  and  Prevost  were  the  only  land  officers  who,  at 
the  council,  sided  with  Des  Gouttes  and  his  Captains.  The  result  of  the 
council  was  that  the  ships  were  to  remain  and  hold  the  harbour  against 
Boscawen.2  Most  of  the  opinions  were  like  Drucour's,  that  the  place  was 
doomed.  D'Anthonay  alone  said  that,  notwithstanding  its  bad  condition  it 
might  be  saved.3 

With  such  a  spirit  the  defence  began,  but  while  hopeless,  the  efforts  of 
the  French  did  not  lack  vigour.  Five  companies  of  Rangers  were  formed 
from  the  townspeople.  The  demolition  of  buildings  and  of  the  limekiln  near 
the  Dauphin  Gate  was  carried  on,  skirmishes  took  place,  and  three  officers, 
the  seniors  of  whom  were  the  two  Villejouins,  were  sent  with  a  dozen  soldiers 
and  seventy  Acadians  to  the  Mire,  to  join  sixty  Acadians  who  had  arrived 
there  from  Isle  St.  Jean.  They  had  orders  to  remain  in  the  woods  and  harass 
the  enemy.  A  sally  of  three  hundred  men  was  made  on  the  I3th,  which, 
although  repulsed,  did  some  damage.  After  false  alarms  on  the  night  of  the 
1 4th,  based  on  a  report  that  the  enemy  was  marching  in  three  columns  on 
the  town,  Vauquelin  anchored  the  frigate  Ar&thuse  broadside  to  the  Barachois 
to  rake  the  enemy  should  it  appear  within  range.4  In  this  position  she 

1  Tourville,  of  the  Capricieux,  says  that  Des  Gouttes  asked  for  their  opinions  at  a  preliminary  meeting,  in  writing 
and  at  once,  "  par  6crit  et  pr^cipitamment." 

2  There  can  be  no  question  of  the  soundness  of  this  view.     The  Island  Battery  was  made  almost  useless  by  the  25th 
of  June.     Had   Des  Gouttes  and  his  ships  gone  out,  Boscawen  would  have  come  in  and  destroyed  the  town  at  once.     It 
was  approved  at  headquarters.     A.N.  B,  vol.  107. 

3  These  letters  are  at  the  end  of  Drucour's  Journal,  A.N.  Am.,  du  N.,  vol.  10,  Prise  de  Louisbourg. 
*  His  position  is  marked  by  an  anchor  on  Plan  I. 


commanded,  through  a  depression  in  the  land,  a  wide  extent  of  the  ground 
over  which  any  advance  against  the  town  had  to  be  made. 

Further  efforts  at  defence  were  completed  by  work  on  the  walls,  the 
establishment  of  shelters  to  prevent  the  raking  of  them,  the  necessity  for 
which  had  been  pointed  out  by  Drucour,  and  much  of  the  powder  was 
removed  from  the  citadel  to  the  ice-house  and  limekilns  outside  the  eastern 
walls.  These  buildings  were  protected  by  hogsheads  of  tobacco  "  that  was 
in  great  plenty  in  Louisbourg,  from  the  English  prizes,  brought  there  by  the 
French  privateers  (Johnstone)."  l 

Wolfe  continued  work  at  his  roads  and  batteries,  being  supplied  with 
guns  and  materials,  by  sea,  in  boats  and  lighters.  These  were  protected  by 
a  frigate  and  sloop,  which  were  attacked  by  an  armed  chaloupe,  with  two 
24-lb.  guns,  which  did  not  interrupt  the  work,  although  it  caused  some  damage 
to  the  nearest  frigate  (i4th).  The  work  was  pushed  on,  but  it  was  not  until  the 
night  of  the  i9th-2Oth  that  fire  was  opened.  The  reputation  of  the  French 
army  made  the  besiegers  act  with  caution.  Sentinels  were  posted  to  overlook 
the  harbour.  The  troops  were  cautioned  against  surprise.  Although  Wolfe 
stated  in  his  orders  that  he  thought  an  attack  was  scarcely  possible,  when  he 
was  ready  to  open  fire,  a  plan  of  defence  against  a  boat  attack  had  been 
perfected.  A  strong  detachment  was  moved  out  from  the  main  camp,  the 
Rangers  occupied  the  ground  between  it  and  Ross's  post,  at  the  head  of  the 
North  East  Harbour,  and  a  system  of  signals  and  bonfires  was  arranged, 
not  only  to  give  warning,  but  to  deceive  the  enemy  as  to  the  strength  of  the 
position.  The  fire  of  Wolfe's  batteries  was  brisk,  and  as  briskly  returned  by 
the  Island  Battery  and  ships.  Ross's  post  was  strengthened  by  guns  on  the 
shore,  Wolfe's  at  the  Lighthouse  was  added  to,  and  under  fire  from  the  ships 
a  new  battery  was  begun  at  the  head  of  the  harbour  (June  23).  They  were 
too  distant  from  each  other  to  do  damage,  and  two  new  batteries  were  later 
erected,  which,  firing  over  the  Grand  Battery,  reached  the  shipping.  Wolfe's 
works  had  now  covered  much  more  than  half  way  round  the  harbour  from 
the  Lighthouse.  Its  batteries  kept  up  a  fire  on  the  island,  which  on  the  25th 
seemed  much  shattered.  The  besiegers  surmised  rightly,  from  its  firing  only 
shells  after  four  on  that  afternoon,  that  its  guns  pointed  towards  the  active 
enemy  were  disabled,  so  the  British  fire  on  it  was  reduced  to  an  occasional 
shell  for  the  purpose  of  retarding  the  work  of  reconstruction. 

The  battery  at  Rochefort  Point  was  used  to  supply  its  place,  and  the 
men-of-war  fired  constantly,  but  with  little  effect.  The  engineers  of  the  town 
did  their  best  to  make  repairs  to  these  most  important  guns  on  the  island. 

1   So  large  was  this  quantity  that  notwithstanding  its  free  use  as  protection  for  the  men-of-war  and  buildings,  after  the 
capitulation  Amherst  sold  a  part  of  what  was  found  in  the  town  for  £1500.     Amherst  to  Pitt,  Aug.  30. 

40         BO 

3  X 


'  Shallow  water 
breaks  heavily 

Town  of  | 




»Black  Rock  Pt. 

on  JUNE  soth,  1758. 

White  Pt? 

Furlongs  01 

Scale  of  One  Mile. 

o       I       2 


A.  Bienfaisant. 

B.  Prudent. 

C.  R*tr,Kr*»»« 




E.  Capricieux.  i.  Lighthouse    Battery  of   7    guns 

F.  Position  of  same  ships  from  zoth  erected  by  Wolfe  on  igth  June. 


A  sally  was  made  from  the  town  on  the  i  st  of  July,  and  the  troops  advanced 
towards  the  Grand  Battery.  The  engagement  was  kept  up  for  two  hours. 
Then  the  French  gave  ground  rapidly,  and  retreated  to  the  shelter  of  the 
outposts,  while  Wolfe's  force,  which  pursued  them  closely,  had  to  retire  under 
a  heavy  fire  from  the  ships  and  the  town.  This  gave  him  the  advantage  of 
fighting  over  ground  he  had  already,  June  30,  intended  to  occupy.  "  When 
the  cannon  and  mortars  are  placed  in  battery,  the  Brigadier  proposes  to  carry 
one  Establishment  nearer  to  the  Town,  and  to  take  possession  of  two  Eminences 
not  far  from  the  West  Gate."  l 

At  dusk,  July  i,  he  took  possession  of  the  mound  he  had  coveted,  and 
the  next  day,  under  heavy  fire,  his  men  at  this  advanced  post  skirmished  with 
the  French  from  cover,  and  succeeded  in  making  the  redoubt  practicable, 
and  carrying  on  other  works,  so  that  on  the  5th,  a  battery  of  five  guns  and 
two  mortars  opened  from  this  new  position. 

Their  fire  was  damaging  to  the  town  and  the  ships.  It  raked  the  walls, 
rising  from  the  Dauphin  Gate  to  the  Citadel,  and  demolished  the  Cavalier 
at  the  Dauphin  Bastion,  which  gratified  one  of  Wolfe's  many  personal 

"  You  know  I  hold  Mr.  Knowles  in  the  utmost  contempt  as  an  officer,  and  an  engineer 
and  a  citizen.  He  built  a  useless  cavalier  upon  the  Dauphin  Bastion  which  fell  to  my 
share  to  demolish,  and  we  did  it  effectively  in  a  few  hours."  2 

The  new  battery  damaged  the  town  and  the  shipping  with  a  fire  to 
which,  on  account  of  the  elevation,  the  latter  could  not  successfully  reply. 
The  position  also  enabled  Wolfe  to  send  out  a  detachment  every  night,  to 
hold  the  French  pickets  on  the  town  side  of  the  bridge  over  the  Barachois. 
As  up  to  this  time  these  were  the  only  operations  which  had  produced  the 
slightest  effect  against  the  defence,  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  Wolfe's 
celerity  became  famous.  None  knew  where  or  when  he  was  to  be  found, 
but  certain  they  were  that  "  wherever  he  goes  he  carries  with  him  a  mortar 
in  one  pocket  and  a  24-pounder  in  the  other."  3 

For  the  first  four  weeks  events  had  not  gone  badly  with  the  French. 
The  Island  Battery,  it  is  true,  had  been  destroyed,  but  the  men-of-war  amply 
protected  the  harbour.  Not  a  gun,  until  the  last  few  days,  had  been  fired 
against  the  main  works,  and  for  a  longer  period  the  French  were  in  doubt 
as  to  the  place,  in  their  defences,  where  the  serious  attack  would  be  delivered. 
The  elaborate  approaches  of  the  enemy  were  impeded  by  the  fire  of  the 

1  Wolfe's  Orders,  June  30. 

2  His 

3  An 
the  French. 

rolfe's  Orders,  June  30. 

1st.  MSS.  Com.  ix.  p.  76.     Knowles,  as  Governor  of  Louisbourg,  built  this  work  in  1746. 

n  Authentic  Account,  June  30.     The  writer  attributes  this  saying  to  the  "  Garrison,"   which  I  take  to 

270       DRUCOUR'S  TROUBLES  WITH  IRREGULARS        1758 

until  shells  and  grenades,  from  a  battery  erected  for  the  purpose,  drove  her 
on  July  6  from  her  position.  Even  in  the  camp  of  the  enemy  the  French 
condition  was  not  regarded  as  hopeless.  Deserters  came  into  the  town  with 
more  or  less  accurate  information  as  to  the  strength,  the  movements,  and 
the  projects  of  the  force  they  had  left  (June  25  and  30).  The  troops  were 
doing  well.  Their  pickets  held  the  ground  beyond  the  outer  works,  and 
engaged  in  constant  skirmishes  with  the  outposts  of  the  enemy.  Sorties  were 
made,  siege  material  was  brought  in  or  destroyed,  and  the  English  harassed 
in  their  operations.  In  this  desultory  warfare,  the  soldiery  was  helped  by 
the  town  militia,  under  command  of  volunteer  officers  of  the  garrison,  and 
Daccarette,  a  merchant  of  the  place.1 

But  in  other  respects  Drucour's  position  was  less  satisfactory.  The 
elaborate  preparations  of  Amherst  to  protect  his  camp  indicated  how  effective 
would  have  been  a  force  of  irregulars,  particularly  in  the  early  days  before  his 
redoubts  and  entrenchments  were  completed.  The  Indians  and  Acadians  did 
nothing,  however,  but  capture  wandering  sailors,  and  rush,  at  intervals,  a 
sentinel  on  outpost  duty.  News  had  come  in  on  the  23rd,  that  Boishebert, 
the  most  famous  of  Indian  leaders,  had  arrived  at  Port  Toulouse,  and  from 
him  and  his  forces  much  was  expected.  The  Minister  had  sent  to  Drucour 
the  Cross  of  St.  Louis,  to  present  to  Boishebert,  as  a  reward  for  his  distinguished 
services,  but  he  was  a  dreary  and  astonishing  failure.  He  who,  as  a  lad,  had 
performed  amazing  feats  of  endurance  and  leadership,  had  driven  back  the 
New  England  forces  at  the  St.  John  River,  was  useless  at  Louisbourg. 

Further  embarrassments  were  caused  by  the  action  of  the  Abbe  Maillard 
and  his  Indians. 

"We  counted  on  that  in  all  security  (supplies  of  powder,  ball  and  provisions  sent  to 
the  Mir£  River  for  the  use  of  the  irregulars).  But  the  Abb£  Maillard,  Missionary  Priest 
to  the  Indians  in  this  Isla